Here’s a common trap that busy leaders too often fall into. Even very good leaders frequently have this happen to them. The busier they are the more likely it is to happen.
The trap is simply forgetting to lead. They forget about the huge difference between managing and leading. Leading is a challenge that brings with it many rewards. Attempting to manage people seems easier but it brings a host of “people problems.” When leaders get especially busy they can revert to trying to manage people rather than lead them.
That’s a problem but here’s what makes it an even bigger problem than you think. The busier your organization is the more stress everyone who works there is under. When the people you lead are stressed that’s when they most need your leadership. But you’re busy too and you forget that leading never stops, or at least it shouldn’t stop.
When your people most need your leadership is when you’re most likely to forget to lead.
It’s why I recommend that busy leaders actually set reminders in their smartphones. Reminders to make certain they are doing the basic “blocking and tackling” of leadership every day. Especially when they and their people are particularly busy.
A few of the basics of leadership would be things like recognizing a team member. Coaching for corrective action with a person who may be struggling. Coaching someone who is doing particularly well to reinforce their positive behavior. Showing your people that they matter and that you care about them. All of those things are important, they are even more important in times of stress.
Slowing yourself down in order to come along side of your people when they most need you pays terrific dividends. Dividends in the form of increased productivity, better morale and an overall culture of success.
But…easier said than done right? Well tell me one thing worth doing that isn’t easier said than done. Most people reading this would tell me their people are their greatest resource. Then they say they don’t have time to slow down long enough to lead that “greatest resource.”
Think about what that means. It means that you are intentionally making the decision to focus your attention on something other than your greatest resource. When your greatest resource most needs your attention.
Does that sound like a recipe for success? Does it sound like effective leadership? Does it sound like that would ever be a good idea?
Authentic Leaders do their best leading when leadership in most needed. Limited leaders often forget to lead when their leadership could have the most impact on their greatest resource.
Don’t fall in the trap of forgetful leadership. Your people will reward you with their commitment when you put them first rather than the 100 other things vying for your attention.
Don’t forget that either!
On a completely different subject…I’m trying something new out over on Twitter. It’s called “Super Followers.” For $5 a month, that’s 17 cents a day, people can follow a part of my Twitter stream that is for subscribers only. It features short videos of me discussing the kind of things I tweet and blog about. But the best part is I’m assuming there will be far fewer Super Followers than regular followers. That will give me the opportunity to answer questions more throughly than I can on regular Twitter. Most of the answers will come in the evening cause we all have day jobs, right? Think of it as ”mentoring on demand!”
You can find more information by clicking the Super Follow button on my Twitter profile page IN THE TWITTER APP. http://twitter.com/leadtoday Give it a try if you’re so inclined, I can’t promise it will last for a long time but I can promise the content will be helpful as long as it does.