Ten Leadership Shifts that Change Everything
Self-inflicted frustrations defeat when leaders won’t adapt to new circumstances. Leaders want to change circumstances rather than changing themselves.
Seizing opportunities requires shifts in thinking, attitude, behavior, and responsibility. The greater the opportunity the greater the necessary shift.
Persistent hard work exacerbates frustration until shifts occur.
Frustrations prevail where shifts are resisted.
Top ten leadership shifts:
- Me to we – humility.
- Doing to delegating – letting go.
- Talk to action – initiative.
- Answers to questions – curiosity.
- Problems to solutions – optimism.
- Past to future – forward focus.
- Control to release – trust.
- Avoiding to addressing – courage.
- Urgent to important – priorities.
- Receiving to giving – service.
More on talk to action:
Someone needs to remind all leaders that talking isn’t doing. Set limits on discussion time and call for action. Ask, “Is there any reason we can’t decide right now?”
Address hesitations directly in consensus situations. Don’t simply delay when someone says, “I’m not comfortable.” Ask:
- On a scale of one to ten, how uncomfortable are you?
- How comfortable do you need to be?
- How can we help you get to your number?
If hesitant teammates insist they need more time, ask how much.
Leaders move issues forward. If you aren’t moving forward you’re falling behind.
More on answers to questions:
Stop pressuring yourself to have answers.
The desire to isolate from others often comes from avoiding people with questions.
Find answers with, not for.
The more answers you give the fewer suggests you receive.
Which shift is most important to you?
What leadership shifts can you add?
Press on positive actionz and thoughtz
Thank you again for enlightening the smooth shift possible within
Talk to action and past to future is most important to me. They provide forward movement with action. Taking initiative is the leaders first step to influence. And this is difference between mass and class. Leaders think differently, act differently because they are class. I would like to some leadership shifts here- questioning what is taken for granted, breaking boundary of accepted perception. These two are great bottlenecks. Strategy that worked in the past, can not be taken for granted for future. Leaders take every case in new perspective. Though they do not completely neglect past action and strategy, but they never rely completely even. The time factor is critical component and leaders know it.At the same, there are some preconceived assumption, perception that usually hinders action and growth are taken for granted. These assumptions limits out thinking, initiative and often mislead from our goal. I mean to say, we need to question those deep rooted belief. If they are still relevant and make sense, there is nothing wrong in accepting that, but when they do not make any sense and just based on something not concrete, then it is the high time to get rid of them.
I think leaders have one thing in common. They do not accept limitation easily. And this makes them leader because they think differently.
Good morning Dan…man that was some post!!!!
The shift most important to me is the hot potato sitting in myl lap right now Put there on purpose to leverage myself to act.
#3 I like clarity better than curiosity maybe you will too after I mentioned it, maybe not, no biggie.
Anyway just a great post!
I see all leaders as humans so what effects humans effects leaders.
Human perception techniques I have found work for me, just two not to take up too much time here on Dans blog.
One, go to a soup kitchen and help feed people worse off than you. That will put into proper perspective just how important what you are up to really is. Yes important to you, but in the overall scheme….important, really? This is just to try to help take pressure off not to devalue what gets you excited.
Second, make a gratitude list. YES silly I know, most will prejudge and discount it and not do it. Those who DO it instead if being WAY too smart to do it will experience the shift they are desiring. I recommend starting with feet and toes and work up. Then go to family and friends. Also for those who actually use it instead of just having one write down you are grateful for your brain.
Ok got to get back to my relaxing weekend! Time to recharge the batteries for the attack planned for next week!!!!
Cya Dan and thanks again.
Excellent list, Dan.
I would add “Responsible to Accountable” – stewardship, and “Performing to Persistent” – persevering.
Thanks for the post Dan. The irony of your photo. Some semi-trucks have an 18-speed transmission. It simplifies the goal of getting up to speed. Without timing, concentration and know-how, an incline in productivity can bring everything to a stand-still. It is easy to perform by choosing the right gear. Shifting from eighteenth to seventh to maintain momentum is still productive. Shifting from seventh to eighteenth there are a few goals being missed to make the task at hand very sluggish. All the people in this transmission have to do there part or, the rest of the crew have to work harder to make up the difference for each gear that is missed. A good leader can make it possible to keep everyone synchronized for the most difficult terrain.
Inquiry and dialogue leads to data informed action. Talk is necessary (Re: #3) to promote understanding of the current reality and the root causes that have led to present events. People need time to develop a common understanding of the data so that they develop clear goals for the future.
Dan, your posts challenge me daily to shift my attitude. Thanks for the great reminder. “Stop Pressuring Yourself to Have Answers” is a great challenge for me, as is the “Me to We” admonishment.
My concentration would turn to shift #8. Avoiding to addressing. Courage.
All too often the chain of communication is broken because one party is afraid of confrontation. This broken spoke in the wheel can cause the vehicle to crash, especially over time. Confrontation, or addressing an issue that is uncomfortable can be done with success when there is mutual respect among all members involved.
This takes character and confidence, also accountability. It is not easy, so practice, practice, practice.
You might like my guide: How to build a clientelle
Dan, that’s a brilliant list, really brilliant. I would love to post this on my blog to follow up with my post yesterday on “Leading an Employee Engagement Revolution.”
Thought provoking post! I would add Telling to Listening-Empowering.
That’s an excellent addition Lynn!
Excellent Pastor! I notice how often great Leaders ask questions designed to lead the listener to ‘find’ the answer they seek…rather than supply the answer (often enjoying the ego boost of supply).
Much akin to when Wisdom reminds us to put others first.
Thank you Dan!
Excellent call-to-action question: “Is there any reason we can’t decide right now?” I would offer this caveat – this is best used when the leader has earned the trust of his/her team. To ask this question of team members who are afraid to speak up in front of the leader only feeds the leader’s mistaken impression of good decision-making.
#11 – Shifting from how we do things to why we do things
“Is there any reason we can’t decide right now?” PERFECT! We waste tremendous amounts of time deliberating and seeking team contributuions and consensus when just making a decision is the most important thing TO DO and the team knows it!. Also: Leadership is mostly about the questions we ask, how quickly we ask them and to whom we ask. The most important aspect of leadership to me is the number of times I ask and then act upon the WHAT IF questions. The future isn’t right here. it’s just beyond our sight, around the bend, over the hill and behind the trees. What if…
My quote to the whole matter is that leaders asking for a radical change are themselves not willing to be radically changed. Therein lies the problem…
I enjoy this topic! I think many of these things you are talking about are easier when we lead for a cause, for the greater purpose than just our ego or a paycheck. I think many that work for us would love to be enabled by having a boss that believed in their abilities and in them. I always think when training an adult … This is just like when I give my kids a new chore….I’m not going to like how it looks when they first start but I have to give them the reigns if I want them to take it over as their own. Eventually they get it. Adults do too. We are all kids in big bodies in my opinion.
I agree that whenever the purpose is clearly set out for everyone, it is easier to lead.
Truly said. Being leader is not only about me rather it’s WE.
Reading this post just changes the mind shift from one to all.
Great thoughts kept. (:
More on #3. Grab Dan Roam’s books on the use of visual over verbal…. and the older I get the more I see “that when all is said and done, a lot more is said than done.”
Great list! My addition:
Minutiae to strategic focus – big picture instead of micromanagement
Great article! I would add…
Perfect to good enough- productivity.
Waiting for a new system or project to be “perfect” before implementing usually means falling behind. Better to get started with what you have and improve along the way.
Certainly the “Me to We – Humility” leadership shift has to rank near the top, if not the top, in most situations. We is a powerful word that invokes a sense of inclusion for responsibility too. In the latter, I would stress a “You to We” shift as a formal declaration of commitment to team success.
Really love and appreciate your views on perceptual shifts. Keep going!
You are on fire the last 3 posts.
Setting priorities is most important to me. Working for the feds it seems we’re constantly putting out fires instead of prioritizing. When facing yet another contrived crisis, our team’s response is, “we don’t work for FEMA.” It gives us the pause we need to evaluate the situation and decide if our priorities need to be rearranged.
Dan, this is great, it ties in with something you said a year or so ago that you don’t have to be 100pct ready before you execute a plan. I will practice #3 and #8 today. Thanks !!
2. Doing to delegating – letting go.
I don’t trust delegation. I have worked somewhere recently where the boss delegated things they couldn’t do themselves.
It is not humility to say “I am sure you can do this better than me” – that is dumping!
This is a recipe for trouble. If I have to delegate I will go far as take a course on the subject if I don’t know how. This way I at least know what is fair time wise, budget wise and expectancy wise. – Then and only then can I let go.
I see people dump the hard, innovative risk taking stuff on others.
Do you know a really good book on legation? Not letting go to get rid of something but letting go because you have confidence?
Avoiding to addressing-Courage. This is a great thought for leaders. As the leader you are keenly aware of what you should be addressing. Avoidance leads to more avoidance. Addressing things leads to confidence as a leader, and positive change. It is a great habit to form.
Thank you for this great article!
Thanks Amy. “Avoidance leads to more avoidance.” … kapow!