Fenton Leadership Five
Moving forward is always preceded by looking ahead. Effective leaders focus on creating tomorrow rather than second guessing yesterday. While understanding past failures is a necessary step to avoid repeating them, excessive reliving our mistakes is not only counter-productive, it can lead to self-pity. If any verse was left out of the Bible that should have been included, my nominee is, “thou shalt get over it and get on with it.” It probably would have been in the Book of Isayuh.”
Occasionally a frustrated leader will ask, “Why do I have to tell everybody what to do? Can’t somebody figure out what needs to be done and just do it?”’ The answer may be, “because you never encourage those you lead.” Discouraged folks require both continual correction and continual motivation while encouraged folks are often self-motivated. Leaders who encourage will spend less time doing corrective supervision than leaders who do not encourage.
Leaders who never invite people in their organization to evaluate their ideas and performance will rarely receive authentically constructive criticism. When the people you lead are not invited to evaluate, they will frequently punitively evaluate and punish you with harsh criticism. Punitive criticism may be accurate, but it is rarely helpful. “ Before implement this,what do you think?” is can help both end product and help people to trust their leader. If you wait until after you have implement your idea to ask the question, rather receiving help, you may only hear an autopsy report on your failed idea. It takes a secure person to invite evaluation, but it also requires a secure person to be an effective leader.
When there is a bull in a china closet, make sure you have someone with a broom and a designated carpenter on speed-dial. On rare occasions in the reorganization process it is necessary to have some organizational destruction or to “ blow up” the existing structure in order to start in order start all over again. But don’t start the “blow up” stage until you have someone in place to both clean up the structural debris and then to create a new organization. The broom needed to clean up an organizational china closet is relationship savvy. If you “blow it up” and don’t have the people or a plan to rebuild, you will simply be left with an organizational hole in the ground which can also be an career grave for a failed leader.
Societal change that is not built on spiritual transformation will only change who profits from the corruption rather than eradicate it. This is the reason elections rarely produce long term change. Organizations that invest in spiritual transformation are society’s change agents.
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