How many podcasts, articles, posts, or chats have you listened to, read, or participated in, just this week, hoping to gain another tip to propel you, motivate you, or teach you how to be a better leader? How many? 1, 2, 5, 10, more? Now here’s an ugly question: What specifically have you done with the information you’ve heard or learned? I’m asking this question because it typically triggers glares from business owners, company directors, and leadership team members when I ask it of them.
What Specifically Have You Done to Become a Better Leader?
As leaders, it’s easy and convenient for us to claim we’re constantly working to develop our leadership skills. We can boast that in addition to reading leadership content every day, we read 12 leadership books each year. We also read The Wall Street Journal and New York Times every morning, and we regularly meet with our professional colleagues to brainstorm ideas and challenge one another. Those are sound actions to take to stay informed and be challenged. But, if we don’t change at least one leadership behavior based upon what we’re hearing, reading or discussing to benefit our team, what’s the point? Reading, talking, and listening about leading strategically, changing the organizational culture, or developing a stronger leadership team isn’t going to make it happen. We need to actually do at least one thing differently to initiate the change. Now here’s the ironic piece to this: Most of us know what we need to change. We just haven’t done it yet, we don’t do it consistently, or we haven’t done it long enough yet. And we all know it.
Most leaders know what they need to change. They just haven’t done it yet, done it consistently, or they haven’t done it long enough yet. And they know it.
I know those three sentences may well irritate you. They irritate my executive coaching clients. However, I believe those three sentences speak to the reality of your world as a business owner, CEO, executive director, board director, or leader. More often than not, you know what to do – or at least you have a few ideas of what could be done – to address the various business challenges confronting you. You and your team can quickly brainstorm a year’s worth of actions to address slumping sales, production inefficiencies, cybersecurity risks, gaps in skill sets, shifting buying patterns, etc. The metrics, budgets, and action plans needed to change the course of these challenges are relatively easy to pull together and hold the team accountable to implement. However, if you continue to lead the way you’ve been leading, what’s really going to change? Will your lack of leadership behavior change help move your team and organization forward or not? If so great. If not, why haven’t you changed?
Why haven’t you changed a leadership behavior you know you should change?
From my experience and observations, leaders often don’t change fundamental leadership behaviors because it’s hard and it’s scary. Changing a fundamental leadership behavior means changing a well-honed habit. It means changing a behavior that used to be great, but hasn’t really been helpful in years. It means letting go of what is known and comfortable, and taking on something new and awkward. It means ending long-standing professional relationships that are no longer good for you or your team, and trying some new. It means being willing to potentially fail in front of your team. It means doing what you expect of your team…every day.
As you look ahead to the many challenges facing your team, what are you going to change to help them succeed? You know what you need them to do. And, you already know what you need to do.
Copyright MMXVII - Liz Weber, CMC, CSP - Weber Business Services, LLC – www.WBSLLC.com +1.717.597.8890
Liz and her team work with leaders to create focused plans for their organizations' future. Then they work with the leaders to ensure their plans are implemented effectively.