Stretched not Crushed
Every time things start going wrong we look to the leader for solutions. Beware! The pressure to provide solutions crushes leaders. When solutions come from the top, organizations crumble from the bottom.
A C-level leader recently said, “When I wake up stressed out over problems in the night, I know I’ve forgotten it’s about the team. Things go better when I include others.”
Leaders who can’t ask people to do hard things can’t get hard things done. Meaningful contributions require deep commitment and effort. Weak leaders assume others can’t or won’t step up. They rule out before they ask.
- That’s too hard for them. Making it easy prevents people from stepping up. Give people the opportunity to do hard things. I’m not suggesting you intentionally make things hard for others.
- They already contribute so much. Translation, they can’t make meaningful contribution in new areas.
- They wouldn’t be interested.
- They’re too valuable where they are. If anyone says that to you, update your resume’.
The big ask:
The big ask is about values before programs. Programs, methods, and techniques are small things when compared with the power of shared values. Align shared values before making the big ask.
It’s the team:
Carrying the load alone crushes;
carrying the load together stretches.
Shared values are magnetic; they pull people together. Success is always about people before it’s about programs and initiatives. People committed to shared values make deep commitments to each other. Connections sustain and energize when things get hard. Blame separates and defeats.
How do you ask others to do hard things?
What should be in place before you ask for deep commitments?