Many things trigger reflection for me. Someone says something, a statement in a book, road trips. I’ve just been watching a TV series, which highlighted the role and importance of coaches. This got me reflecting on coaches in my life. I’ve had many coaches at different times in my life. All them made unique contributions to my life.
There’s the adage, “pride comes before a fall”. It is true. The sad thing about it, is that often people don’t realise that they’ve been made blind by pride. Pride can make you blind to the fact that you’re about to fall. In fact pride makes you blind to the fact that you are proud [Click to Tweet].
When something or its purpose is not understood, it is likely to be misused and abused. Accountability is one of those misunderstood this and, as a result, not practiced well.
This is how you’re messing up accountability:
Too many crimes are committed in the name of honesty and truth. Some people claim to be very open people because they always speak the truth. They claim they are honest in dealing with people when they don’t like something.
That is what they say. There are times I may have also used their language. Rather, they’re excuses.
Often it is just a cover for being nasty. Mean. Stop giving honesty and being truthful a bad rap because of your meanness.
I’m not suggesting that we never speak the truth. I’m saying we must be careful how we speak the truth.
We must be honest with people but it matters how we translate that honesty in the context. Care enough about your message to package it well.
Also, don’t mistake being rude for being honest with people. That makes you worse than a jerk. As I encounter people who do such, I write these things as notes to myself.
There are many opportunities to be a jerk. The question is, “Will I take them?” [Click to Tweet]
I know that I can be just as bad. You too. I’d like to think that I can’t be as bad as everyone else but that is not the truth. Sometimes I do cross the “jerk line”.
I’m glad to have people around me that love me enough to pull me back over that line without being nasty but truthful in a kind way. It hurts, sometimes, but it helps. I end up a better person. These people help me become more.
I want to be honest about how I feel with people I care about and leave relationships intact. In fact, I want, I need the relationships to be stronger. I want people I lead to love me for the truth I bleed, with love.
“I’m just saying the truth” or “I’m just being honest” must not be used, as a cop out for not delivering the truth in a way it deserves.
Truth is a beautiful thing. It deserves to be delivered in a manner that exalts not demeans it [Click to Tweet]
Truth is like a hammer. If it is used well it can build great things. It can also be used destructively. We get to choose how we use it.
Love people and truth enough to use it to build up; not destroy [Click to Tweet]
When you’re done using truth, the hammer, may be there more standing and not rubble.
Honesty strengthens the foundations of relationships, don’t deface it.
[Photo Credit: Marc Wathieu]
The quality of leaders is one of the most significant determinants of the longevity and effectiveness of organizations. This means looking at big picture stuff. Part of this is making it more than a habit to always check the health of your organization, as well as to training leaders to lead.
Beyond training leaders to lead is actually leading them. A lot of enterprises lose their leaders because they fail in leading them. Leaders are looking for more than opportunities to lead but to be led well, also.
Some (not comprehensive) thoughts on how to lead leaders:
The temptation, when dealing with or leading leaders is that you don’t need to go over leadership 101 with them. Most leaders fail because of neglecting the 101 stuff. Always remind and challenge your leaders on the foundations of leadership.
Failing at what we call, “Simple things”, have seen the demise of many leaders. They need to be reminded because they can get so focused on what the need to achieve and overlook the platform that enables their leadership, the basics.
Go ahead focus on the “higher level stuff” but not at the expense of the basics.
Leaders can easily call a bluff. They will soon crash your masquerade. Be real. Be honest about some of your struggles and challenges in leadership. Don’t pretend to have all the answers. Be transparent.
By so doing you not only challenge them to do the same, but also you built an honest and strong leadership team. It will also give them freedom to be real with you. Authenticity is the new authority and credibility builder. Get with it.
You’re failing to lead leaders when you don’t constantly push them off the edge. Leaders that are not challenged are bored and frustrated leaders and you will soon lose them.
For their own sake, the sake of those they lead and your cause, you must challenge them. Unchallenged leaders are comfortable and complacent leaders.
Leaders without a fresh challenge are not innovators. They are mere managers of the things as they are. Create programs or projects that are out of their scope and skill-set to force them to grow.
Innovation is not always by chance. It is caused. Pushing your leaders to challenge something they haven’t is one of the ways of making it happen.
When leader don’t grow they will go. Leave.
Reins and Room
Titles without authority behind them are just that. Titles. You must give your leaders room to lead.
Give them the authority they need to fulfill whatever responsibilities you give them. Endorse their authority when it comes to those they lead. In fact, this is a key to giving them support.
Your turn: what do you recommend when it comes to leading leaders?