In the Wake of ANOTHER School Shooting: What the (Leadership) World Needs Now Is…
I know that’s what many of you are thinking I’m going to use to fill in the blank in the above title. After all, that’s how the song goes, right?
Up until last week, in fact, I may well have said that love is all we need. On some level, I think there’s a nugget of truth to that idea. I do believe that using love as a guiding, grounding force can solve so many of the world’s challenges. Standing in a place of love – not the sappy kind, but the genuine, open-heart kind – helps us to be in discussion and dialogue, it helps us to draw meaningful boundaries, even as we build connections. It helps us to relate to one another without becoming doormats OR bullies.
As much as it pains me to say it, however, I don’t think we as a species are quite ready to stand, sit or otherwise operate simply from love. We haven’t figured out collectively how that looks.
Leading and Learning When You Already Know it All
It’s Valentine’s day – almost – which is a day devoted to the celebration and acknowledgement of love, particularly of the romantic variety. It’s a nice thing. And, in my opinion, it skews the concept of love away from a very important person.
I know. This is supposed to be a space devoted primarily to leadership and its related issues. So why on earth would I talk about LOVE of any sort?
Well, because what I know for sure – and what I continue to be reminded of – is that love is important. And for those of us who are leaders, our ability to love OURSELVES is essential. It’s not a luxury; it’s a necessity.
Understanding the Leadership Trifecta
In recent months, corporate demand for the leadership training that I offer has increased. From my perspective, this is a great thing and I am embracing the opportunities with immense gratitude. Feedback has been that the impact of these training and coaching sessions is increased effectiveness and renewed enthusiasm within leadership structures and approaches.
In many cases the training is offered as a mandatory session for leaders. The intention is to ensure that all members of the leadership teams in question receive the same information, and have the same opportunity to work and grow together. This in turn leads to consistency across a corporate culture, when those in attendance go out and lead their teams.
For the most part, this approach is effective and well-received. There is, however, one proverbial fly in the ointment. This particular fly – a mindset employed by some leaders – can often detract from the potential effectiveness, if not derail it altogether.
Leadership & The Power of Silence
Leadership. As a concept, it’s something most of us admire and many of us aspire to. While we may not aspire to lead on a grand stage, shying away from politics or committees, there’s still a way that we want to be seen as being smart, savvy, inspiring, and “follow-worthy” if you will.
Parents want their children to look up to them; bosses want their teams to follow them; change-makers want folks to shift their viewpoints to align with them. Leaders, generally speaking, want to stand out, stand apart, and be seen as being great.
Sometimes, however, it can be hard to understand what actually makes a leader GREAT. In my experience, greatness in leadership boils down to a critical TRIFECTA of qualities: INTENTION, IMPACT, and ACCOUNTABILITY. Let me explain:
One of the consistent challenges that I hear many leaders grappling with is this: everyone wants them to solve problems, come up with solutions, know all the answers.
Some might argue that all of these are, in fact, the responsibility of a leader. To some extent they’d be right. But we do ourselves – and our leaders – a grave injustice when we expect them to have all of the answers, all of the time.
Sometimes, leaders need to stand in silence. Sometimes, leaders do better when they bear witness.
Let me explain.