I wrote about what to do when those you look up to let you down a while ago. One of the most obvious things in that post hides in plain sight. In the title of the post. Do you see it? The thing I’m talking about is the fact that leaders or heroes can let you down. That you, as a leader are fallible and have the capacity to fail. That you can let people down. I’m wondering if we now need for a healthy dose of cynicism in leadership.Continue reading “Need For A Healthy Cynicism Of Leadership”
This applies to both life and leadership. There’s the obvious; those things you know you’re about and will never compromise. These are usually things that relate to your mission and values. Though values may take a while to discover and articulate, it is easy to say where you stand when you have.
Mission and values are a rudder. They guide your life, leadership and enterprise. Clarifying them is critical. When your purpose is unclear, resources and energy are either abused or wasted. Sometimes both.
You believe many things for different reasons. It could be that you’ve heard something many times. Another reason could be that you heard from someone you respect and trust. Your own thoughts are also a source of your beliefs. Having said that, here’s why you must never believe what you think:
In another post, (this one) I shared about a challenge I had in unlocking potential from some team members. The short of it, is that I didn’t realise they were failing to translate what a change in strategy at an enterprise level, practically meant for them. They understood the the enterprise was headed but failed to contextualize it to particular instances.
In retrospect I see that as a one of the sources of frustration they sometimes experienced was a result of not knowing what to do in their areas of responsibility. Like me, they were clueless. “Why were they so frustrated and why couldn’t I get them to go full throttle?”
Going through some notes I made after a few team meetings a few years ago. I now understand something that puzzled me. On that team I had people with the skills needed. They were sold out to the mission. There were just two people whose potential I somehow failed to extract, in the context of the mission.
It is not that there were incompetent, they had all the skills, in fact more than needed. We had many meetings about what we, as an enterprise were working toward. So, it wasn’t that they were clueless about what we were trying to accomplish.