“Be the change you want to see in the world.” ~ Gandhi
Recently, I worked with a group of new managers to help them make change at their company. Eager to learn and grow, people of all ages and backgrounds filled the room.
It was heartwarming to be with them and witness lot of candor, laughter, and strengthening bonds as they shared. These people were committed.
Here is one thing I never heard: a disparaging remark. I didn’t hear about a lack of resources or time. I never heard things like, “Oh, those Millennials/Boomers/Leadership/Others – I don’t know how to work with them.”
What I heard, instead, was a desire to make change. “How can I be at my very best? How can I grow in my leadership so I can make a bigger difference?”
Now, that’s a room full of people that anyone would be privileged to work with!
Here are the three questions I asked them in return. I shared that the answers to these questions are what would make or break their ability to influence and make a difference.
How are you doing in these three areas?
Are you walking your talk?
Are there places in your leadership where you are preaching, but not practicing?
Maybe you are asking others to go the extra mile, produce more without overtime pay, take better care of themselves, produce top quality work on time – fill in the blank!
But you yourself secretly lack being able to meet success in that area. This is not uncommon – the very thing we want to see in ourselves is what we ask others to do well. If this is you, you are responsible for course-correcting this so that you are the change you want to see.
Are you modeling to others by taking the first step?
Are you great at delegating work to others, but not as good at jumping in to roll up your own sleeves in times of stress?
I remember delegating very well during a huge event, and walking around at a tense moment to see how things were progressing. I looked across the room to see the company president unloading boxes with one of my reports. That was a humbling moment that shifted my understanding of true leadership.
Are you taking ownership of how you contribute?
When was the last time you sat down with a colleague or report and asked the question, “How am I doing?”
This should be a regular conversation. “What can I do more of or less of, in order to do a better job of working with you?”
My clients report that this conversation has brought forward valuable information they might never have uncovered otherwise. “It has shifted the way I am able to work with others,” said one business owner. “We are a team now – not just a group of people in a room.” That’s a change!
As you look at these three areas, which one speaks most to you? What is the one shift you are committing to make so that you can influence others to a larger extent and make a greater difference?
Patti Cotton helps executives optimize their effectiveness in leading self, others, and the enterprise. Her areas of focus include confidence, leadership style, executive presence, effective communication, succession planning, and masterful execution. With over 25 years of leadership experience, both stateside and abroad, Patti works with individuals, teams, and organizations across industries, providing executive consulting, leadership development, succession planning, change management, and conflict resolution. She is also an experienced Fortune 500 speaker. For more information on how Patti Cotton can help you and your organization, click here.