Good morning and Happy Monday! I’m Monica Wofford and this is your Monday Moment.
Still in the Wild West of your office this February, talking a bit about what happens when you are the new sheriff in town and you’ve settled on in and given a good surprise to everyone. And just the converse what happens when you led maybe too long. What do you miss when you’ve been the leader in your office for long enough to no longer see the problems? What do you miss when you’ve been leading nose down, nose to the grindstone, getting stuff done, but starting to develop a bit of tunnel vision? How do you reinvigorate a Leader’s Vision even in an environment where you’ve worked there for quite some time or even in an environment where you frankly have been so busy managing problems, housekeeping, or maybe even managing people out of the business, that you are no longer really keenly aware of some of the bigger issues. You don’t see the barrel falling apart on the front porch .You don’t see that dead tree in the background and you don’t see the problems that people are telling you about, like “yeah he’s been doing that for a really long while”. Let’s talk about you and your leader vision and how do you keep from going blind in your position. Well, as they’re often are, there are three primary sources of guidance, or rather action items, that will help you in this area. If you are someone who’s been a leader for quite a while and is seeking to reinvigorate your leader vision, re-energize your ability to get better at seeing the very things that are around you that most of us now probably refer to as our normal, then follow this first tip as your top priority.
Step #1: Go on Vacation
To reinvigorate your leader vision … go on vacation. You might think that sounds completely odd, but think about it. When you go on vacation and first come back to your own home, the house smells different. You see things that are different you can tell if someone’s been there. You see that table you’ve not dusted in a year. The same is true of your workplace. Take a longer than normal vacation, if allowable, or at the minimum, take a very long weekend. Disconnect. Unplug and truly recharge. No one will think you’re weak, and if they do, they’ve clearly never had a leadership position with this much responsibility. Take a vacation that gives you an outside the office perspective. You’ll come back and automatically see things with a little bit clearer vision. But, taking a vacation is not always possible. And maybe that sounds like a generality or much like a novelty one might get while shopping at a Hollywood version of some old ghost town that is called part of the wild Western. It’s nice to look at and sounded good at the time, but what are you really going to do with it? If taking a vacation isn’t possible, then your next priority for reigniting your leadership vision is taking an inventory.
Step #2: Take an Inventory
Taking inventory of who you have, areas that need Improvement, and what are the things you’ve done thus far, is helpful and informative and vision clarifying. You can create an Excel spreadsheet. You can create an entire grid system or heck you could probably hire someone to create an app to solve this for you. The way the information is recorded is not important. It’s the inventory, and the act of looking more closely, that’s critical. That inventory also allows you to see things that perhaps you glossed over or perhaps you stopped seeing.
Step #3: Start Interviewing
The third step, after you take a vacation, if you can, and after you take an inventory, which you will, is to interview each person. Interview each person you have the privilege of leading and ask them at least three questions: “What do you see that we need to do differently?” “What do you see around here that we do well?” and “What do you see around here for which we need to make improvements?” The improvements question is different than asking what do we need to do different. One or two improvements may be given as an answer to the what we need to do different around here question, yes, but some people will struggle with giving you news they don’t think you want to hear or that they think might sound like they’re placing blame in your direction. So, when you interview each person you can ask additional questions but at a minimum, ask everyone those same three questions in addition to the extra ones you may come up with. What is it around here that we could do different? What do you see around here that we do well?” and “What do you see around here that needs Improvement?”
Couple those with your inventory and your vacation and your vision will allow you to see that maybe there’s someone around your office that needs to be replaced or maybe there’s a sign or two that needs replacing. This is truly all about you seeing clearly the environment in which you’re leading and seeing those that you’re leading are actually attempting to do their very best at performing.
I’m Monica Wofford and that’s your Monday Moment. Stay tuned for more next week about this job of being the leader and how you can do it even better no matter how long you’ve been there. Stay tuned. Check out our YouTube channel and also if you’re not getting these videos regularly go to MondayMoment.com and become a part of our Contagious Community. See you soon
Monica Wofford, CSP is a celebrated leader who develops future leaders. CEO of Contagious Companies, her firm delivers and designs leadership training for managers who’ve been promoted, but not prepared, and the leaders who promoted them. Author of Contagious Leadership and Make Difficult People Disappear, Monica and members of the Contagious team may be reached at www.ContagiousCompanies.com, www.MonicaWofford.com or by calling 1-866-382-0121.