Most of you don’t think twice when you need to stay late for work.
You don’t bat an eye when you sequester yourself with colleagues tirelessly working to hammer out a mission statement, set of values or long-term strategy. You are ready and willing to jump into fire-fighting mode to resolve a pressing issue even if it’s 4:45 p.m.
That’s Leadership right?
That’s what you do when you are in charge – It’s a given.
While I don’t disagree – it intrigues me that so few consider taking an equal amount of time to become a better person. That type of proactive self-development doesn’t seem to be a “given.”
How about you?
Consider the time you spend improving your business versus the time spent improving yourself – which wins?
I believe time and effort spent on improving you, the person, provides an ROI greater than when time is spent working on your business.
Let me explain…
You, the person, are a multiplier. By improving the elements that make you who you are, you increase the impact of your leadership in spades.
Consider the many elements that make up who you are as a person:
- The list could go on.
Most of these remain invisible to the world – they are internal elements.
However, they have an influence (individually or collectively) on the choices you make and actions you take. At that point – when you act – they are evident to others, and they have tangible consequences (positive & negative).
Let me give an example:
- Internal Element of a Leader – He doesn’t like conflict or confrontation.
- External Actions & Choices – C-players remain in key management positions in his organization.
- Business Impact – Performance slips, customers are frustrated, A-Players start to quit and organizational growth begins to plateau and slip.
That’s huge! All that negative impact because of who he is (or a part of him). That’s just one element – what other impact is this person having? He may try to “fix it” by redesigning the performance management system, but the real fix, the lasting solution, is to deal with his issue and become a better, more balanced person!
What about you? Think of all the elements of yourself that may be underdeveloped or unmanaged. Metaphorically, think of each of them as a drill bit. Some are large others are small, but they are quite effective at drilling holes!
I believe each of these drill bits are drilling holes into your overall potential as a leader.
You may think they are hidden (we all have issues – right?). I agree you don’t wear them on your sleeve, but they are there and they are real. These unmanaged or undeveloped elements of yourself (e.g., drill bits) do break the surface and see the light of day – they are reflected in your daily choices and behaviors. As such, you aren’t doing yourself any favors by trying to keep them buried. They are going to drill through – it is only a matter of time. If you deny or ignore – you’ll start looking like a block of Swiss cheese!
Here’s my advice:
- Know (and own) your shit!
- Take whatever time necessary to improve and manage it.
- Have a tangible plan for improvement – get a mentor or coach to help.
- If you are unable to improve it – deliberately mitigate the impact through an alternative strategy.
If you really think you are “hole-free” – put yourself through a Leadership Assessment or a 360 Feedback Process with me and I’ll help you find (and fill) your holes!
Cheese is great with wine, but I really don’t like to see it in Leaders!