Controlling Thoughts

Lots of companies are working hard to “enlighten” their employees about weaknesses they never even knew they had. 

I’m okay with some of that. I think it’s more than okay that people are made aware of whatever unconscious biases they may hold. It‘s good to be aware that you may be “prejudging” someone solely because they have different life experiences than you. 

You miss a whole lot of opportunities to learn and grow when you fall into that trap. 

But some of this “enlightenment” is nothing more than a fool’s errand. Much of the training these organizations are “offering” to their employees require that the employees change their thinking. In some cases, change who they are. In other cases, sacrifice long held principles and even core values. Even at times religious beliefs deeply rooted in Biblical Principle.

Authentic Leaders know that they control very little when it comes to their people. One thing they most certainly don’t control is what their people think. They can, and in some areas should, influence what their people think. 

They do that not by telling people what to think but by being a living example of the manifestation of those thoughts. If I had to describe Leadership in one word that word would be influence. Authentic Leaders know that they are the model for the thoughts, actions, and outcomes that they want their people to have. 

They know the limits of their control and they never try to force their thinking on to anyone. 

Lesser, ineffective leaders, actually seem to believe that they can dictate what their people think. Some of the “training opportunities” people have shared with me, primarily from large companies, state things like, “thinking this or that” will no longer be allowed. Apparently these companies all employ Mr. Spock to use the Vulcan Mind-Meld on their employees. The goal being to ensure their thinking is always pure and wholesome. And most importantly, complying with company policies. 

Authentic Leaders see the foolishness in that approach. They don’t tell people what to think, they show them the benefit of thinking a certain way knowing their people will decide for themselves. 

I feel bad for the companies wasting their money on training that’s supposed to force people to change who they are and what they believe. Especially considering many of “leaders” in those organizations exempt themselves from the training. They also refuse to change anything about themselves. 

They could save themselves a whole lot of time and money by just being the example of what they want their people to be. 

On a completely different subject…I’m trying something new out over on Twitter. It’s called “Super Followers.” For $5 a month people can follow a part of my Twitter steam that is for subscribers only. It features short videos of me talking about 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. http://twitter.com/leadtoday (You may need to refresh the page to see the Super Follow Button) 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. 

Are you in Control? Really?

So, you’re the boss! You’re the one in charge! You’re in Control!  The buck always stops with you! Well…not exactly.

     

When you’re at or near the top of your organization you have lots of influence, but you don’t control all that much. You don’t control your peoples’ attitudes. You can help them motivate themselves but if they don’t want to be motivated then their motivation is beyond your control. You can’t control what they think. You might be able to prevent them from saying something but you cannot prevent them from thinking it.

     

Somewhere along the way to achieving your leadership position someone might have told you that leadership, or being “the boss” is about being in charge and being in control. Nothing could be further from the truth. The fact is that you can’t make much of anything happen by yourself. In fact, all you can control with any certainty is your own behavior.

     

But there is some good news. Your position likely means that you have boatloads of influence. So, use your behavior, your personal example, to influence the behavior and performance of others. Your team will do what you do far sooner than they will do what you say.  You are the model for their successful behavior.

     

You might also want to keep in mind that your influence goes both ways. If you have a negative attitude then your team will also. If you are not motivated then your team won’t be motivated either. The best way to get more from your team is to give more of yourself.

     

Authentic Leaders do not expect more from their people than they expect from themselves. Authentic Leaders know that the best way to lead is to “show” rather than “tell”.  Authentic Leaders are intentional in their effort; they “show” on purpose and often on schedule. They “self-check” their attitudes and use goals as a way of keeping themselves motivated.

     

Authentic Leaders know that their success is completely dependent upon the success of their people. Authentic Leaders are diligent in making certain they do nothing to hold their people back. They do not think in terms of controlling their people, they think in terms of influencing them and influencing them in a positive way.


Remember, control is a manager’s tool, influence is the tool of true leaders. Lead Today!