Many times leaders feel like the circus performer balancing plates; there are so many demands, which ones do I focus on?
Leaders are required to deliver shareholder returns, customer satisfaction and employee engagement; all which are integral to the successful company.
How did you do last year balancing the success of those that invest in your company – Shareholders and Customers – with those that are your company – Employees?
Last weekend my family and I attended a Christmas Story concert put on by the Trans Siberian Orchestra. TSO, as they are affectionately called, puts on a $20 million dollar show filled with rock and roll guitars, moving stages, lights, and songs; all dedicated to telling the Christmas Story.
This is the traditional Christmas Story, familiar to everyone in the audience, but told in a unique, energizing format.
TSO has been touring for over 14 years and is more popular today than when they started. Why?
For anyone who grew up in the 1980’s, the music takes you back to your youth. But the audience was filled with all ages, so that isn’t the only draw.
Their popularity comes from the story they tell. The Christmas Story tells of a long awaited success. It is the culmination of hope. It is the happy ending that has come after many years of suffering. Regardless of your background or beliefs, this is a human story. This type of success story is one that everyone wants repeated in their life.
Make your Story of Leadership a Success worth repeating.
There is a cycle to energy. It can’t be created or destroyed; it simply changes forms. According to The Law of Conservation of Energy, potential energy can be converted to kinetic energy, which can be converted to thermal energy, but the original energy remains.
There is a cycle to water. The limited amount of water continuously cycles through its various forms: evaporation, condensation, and precipitation
There is also a cycle to Successful leadership: Give that which you have received and open the pathway to receive even more.
It’s now part of everyday knowledge that Steve Jobs received the idea for the computer mouse at a visit to Xerox labs. He gave that idea to the world through the Apple Macintosh, and the mouse became part of every computer. The mouse lasted until the cycle of inspiration came around and the world received the touch screen in the iPhone and iPad.
The successful leader will teach, speak and write about the leadership lessons they know and receive so that they can be part of the cycle of leadership.
Look for ways to pass on knowledge as fast you can and as fast as your audience can receive. Trust me, you will receive more than you can imagine in return.
The most important step in letting your leadership team grow – letting your control go.
At some point you have taught your leaders enough, and they are ready to be successful on their own. But they will never reach their best unless you release them to try.
Releasing control is easier than you may think. It’s just like when your child rides their bike for the first time without training wheels. You run next to them, holding onto the back of the bike until they get up enough speed, then you do it…You let go of the bike and they ride as you encourage them with every turn of the wheel.
A successful leader stops running and lets their leaders get the feel of leadership.
Let your leaders run the meetings and projects and make decisions. Stay close by their side to remind them of all that they’ve learned, and encourage their leadership skills.
I live in Chicago and recently spent some time in Florida. When I left Chicago it was 20 degrees; when I landed in Florida it was 65 degrees. For the two and a half days I was there, I wore polo shirts and my hosts wore sweatshirts and sweaters.
Was it warm or cold while I was in Florida? The fact is it was neither; it was just 65 degrees which isn’t hot or cold, it’s just 65 degrees. Since I just traveled from 20 degree weather I perceived it as hot. My hosts live in Florida and perceive 65 degrees as slightly cold. It’s the perception of 65 degrees that makes it feel either hot or cold.
Perception comes from each of our specific backgrounds and experiences. Things that seem easy to one may be difficult to another. Beliefs that one person has may be opposite the beliefs that another has.
Successful leaders understand that when it comes to facts and perceptions, you start where you agree – the facts – work through where you may disagree – perceptions – to get to where you can agree – the outcome.