One of the worst mistakes I’ve made as a leader is assume if work was getting done and the results we wanted and expected were coming in, then everything was well. I got so caught up in getting results and making sure we, at worst, kept to the schedule.
When I felt we were lagging I’d call team meetings and try to identify bottlenecks in our processes or systems. There would be some results from the interventions.
There were, at most momentary surges, which deteriorated either back to the reason for interventions if not worse. The cycle continued until I was brave enough one day to ask questions that most leaders must, but won’t ask.
I asked how I was doing as leader and what else I could do to help my team do better. Denial was my first response after I got the answer. Despite our denial truth doesn’t change.
The answers I got amounted to this: I did everything right in making sure the systems were working. I did well in making sure there was feedback from the systems, but failed in seeing the people I lead as people and not functions.
My failure was that I took care of what my team was doing and not how my team was doing. There’s a difference.
The lesson to be learned was to see people as people and not mere means to an end. I overlooked the most important resource any leader could have: the people.
You’re not ready to lead if you’re not willing to see beyond positions and functions in your team. You must be able to see people. As a leader you must be able to hear the challenges they face.
You’re not ready to lead until you’re willing to care about those you lead [Click To Tweet]
As much as we’d love to think we are, we’re not compartmentalized beings. Anything that happens in one area of our lives affects other areas, and this includes the roles we play in the organizations we’re a part of.
Effective leaders pay attention to more than what they get from their team but to the people who give [Click to Tweet]
Remember: people perform functions and they are not functions… How you see the people you lead impacts your leadership. See more than what the deliver.
Related: On Readiness To Lead
You have everything you need to carry out what you need to. However it is not in you but those around you… Having healthy relationships is how you draw from them.
Seeing People | You’re Not Ready To Lead IF…