Let me give you two examples. First one from business. The difference between leader and manager (both holding the title of CEO in the same organization) is the difference between 100 and 40. The latter is where the manager got the business after the leader. Where? Study the history of GE. The other one is from football. Where ability to lead people took Island to quarter semifinals. They played 1-1 with Portugal and Hungary, winning 2-1 Austria and England. They won as a team, not due to some super individuals (6 goals, 5 different men scoring). This ”miracle” was possible because they were a team. Building winning team is only possible with exceptional leadership.
|”Leaders eat last” is a saying in one of the top military organizations. In their case (so I have heard) this is really true. For the rest of us, we need to see the value base behind thought. If you focus and actions are all about you, your success, you can be successful to a certain level. But there will be the point, where you see how others get further, higher and more respected. This is purely natural. The power we can have on other people will go down, as there are more people working for you. We all can lead and have an impact on a group less than 10. When the number goes up to 20, we start to have problems. With 50, we lose the ability to truly impact on people (but with fear = lower productivity and less innovations). If you have a 1000 people, you are unlikely to be manage their action. The only way to get the best out of people is to get them to take you as their leader! You need to earn that position.
|The question to ask your self is ”What am I doing every day to improve the life of an employee in the workplace?”. That starts with being humble. Larry Bossidy, the former CEO of Honeywell has written: ”The more you can contain your ego, the more realistic you are about your problems. You learn how to listen, and admit that you don’t know all the answers. Your pride doesn’t get in the way of gathering the information you need to achieve the best results. It doesn’t keep you from sharing the credit that needs to be shared. Humility allows you to acknowledge your mistakes.”. The part here that makes this mentally challenging is that you need to share you vulnerability. Something many has learnt to hide during their path. ”tough guys don’t cry”, ever heard that?
|”Kelly Merbler, principal of The Kelly Merbler Company, elevates ””caring for people””. The engineering era has taught us to love the process, the system. In contemporary world, that is not the most important thing! Merbler says, ””As a leader, it is critically important to show your employees that they are loved and that they are valued. It’s so important to create a culture that allows them to do their best work and feel they are creating a positive contribution.”” Merbler says there are three critical ways in which you can demonstrate actionable love for your No.1 customer–your employees: 1. Ask them what they enjoy doing most in their job, and why, to understand what really makes them feel satisfied in their roles. 2. Acknowledge everyone’s contributions, not just the revenue generators. ””Everybody matters,”” says Merbler. 3. Create opportunities for employees to use their strengths and pay attention when an employee shows interest in different aspects of the business. ”
|From good to great, or just from traditional manager to a good leader? What ever and where ever you are today, is not really the main question. More important is where you want to go? What kind of (working) life you want to have? What is your dream situation (position, money, mentally) in 5 years? Change does’t come, it is here, every day. You have the opportunity to choose, where you go, what you do! Have a goal, but take the first step. Starting the journey is the most important part. You may have been reading about Martti Alahuhta. Lessons learnt for him included, that at certain point his engineering studies and philosophy were not doing the thing. He had to learn to get peoples minds to love to follow him. He wasn’t born as the leader we now know him. He studied, practiced and learned.
|I should have, I am stuck, I just am like this – all excuses we hear people use all the time. Those are comments coming from looking backwards. We are not doomed by what we have been. Every morning starts with a fresh opportunity. Start today by writing on a A4 one sentence ”In 2024 I will be ________________”. Not more today. Tomorrow write on the same paper ”In 2024 I will have_________”. The day after write ”In 2024 my people will say about me ________”. Put this somewhere, were you can see it every day. Share it with your coach, mentor, trusted and honest friend.
|After you have done those 3 tasks, ask your self ”what is the skill, I need to work on this month, in order to get there?” Decide ONE thing. Find the tools to do it. Do it. Make the plan for the next month in about 4 weeks.
|As you remember from the previous blog, a lot of people fail. There are two reasons for failure; not have truly workable sub goals and not reminding our brain on the positive outcome every day. One final note, the brain scientists say, that using phrases like ”I may not do this anymore” will actually lead to doing the old thing. Make your wording positively goal oriented ”I will be ______ more”. If you want to boost your process, there are ways to do it. Get in touch, I will share with you some more insights on how to reach your goals faster and more efficiently.
|Your partner in making change happen, Kari I. Mattila, emotional intelligence advisor