Leadership, I’ve learned over the years, is multi-faceted. Unfortunately, what often happens is that over time we develop tunnel vision.
It’s not intentional, of course. It’s the byproduct of having too many people, projects, deadlines. We start to operate on autopilot – to our own detriment.
I recently had an experience where I was able to look at leadership from a very different angle. And it’s stuck with me changing the way I view obstacles and opportunities.
I took our team to Tri-C’s Corporate College for a firm-wide retreat. We spent the afternoon participating in a team building project. The objective was to divide into teams and build bikes that were, once tested for safety, given to deserving youngsters through Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Cleveland. We were divided up so that each group included introverts and extroverts, members of our executive team and staff members who work offsite, men and women, from all different areas of the company.
As I sat on the floor, I observed my team in action. My view yielded three important reminders:
- The cream always rises
When faced with adversity, employees who usually prefer the background somehow come to the forefront to provide solutions. This occurred in every group! Lesson: Don’t label. Instead, give them opportunities to shine outside of their day-to-day. Invite them to participate in meetings they otherwise might not attend and ask for input.
- Tear down silos
Those who see things in red and black (i.e., accounting) are actually very good with color. And those who work in more abstract fields (i.e., marketing) can follow the most mundane instructions line-by-line. Lesson: Don’t assume. These professionals actually work very well together and are able to come up with the most practical and creative solutions.
- Patience really is a virtue
It takes some people longer than others. Especially when they are tackling something new. Lesson: Don’t rush. Give them the time and the space to figure out not only how to do it, but how to do it well. If they can assemble a bike safe enough for a ten-year old, they can do pretty much anything!
I would encourage any leader to look to his/her team from a different angle. The view can be remarkable!
Ronald S. Torch is founder, president, and CEO of Torch Group, Inc.
- Posted by Stuart Glassman
- On August 14, 2018
- 0 Comments