Ten Things that don’t Matter Much – One that Does
Leaders who neglect what matters always fall short.
10 things that don’t matter much:
- Sitting at your desk.
- Past success.
- All the good reasons things can’t be done.
- Answering email as it comes in.
- Getting your way.
- Outdoing others.
- Pretending you have it all together.
- Good intentions apart from action.
- Remembering offenses and failures.
One thing that matters more: Connecting
Isolated leaders create status with distance, secrecy, and title.
Isolated leadership is arrogant leadership.
Leadership is influence.
Influence requires connection.
Connected leaders build relationships.
Influence grows when connections grow.
Respect eliminates the need for position and title.
10 ways to connect and succeed:
- Make a daily appointment with MBWA. Manage by wandering around. Isolation causes arrogance. Connection requires humility.
- View interruptions as opportunities. If your day consists of constant interruptions then use them to connect. Maximize interruptions by quickly getting to, “What’s the next step?”
- Solve problems in positive ways. Talk about the reason you’re solving problems, while solving problems.
- Explore off-putting behaviors. You do things that block connection and limit potential. Reflect on:
- The way you talk – tone, content, intent.
- The way you listen.
- How you understand and maximize strengths on the team.
- Reject savior-leadership. Look to others for answers. Ask, “What do you think?”
- Make room for weaknesses. Everyone who has it all together is hiding something. Allow others to have weaknesses by maximizing their talent.
- Share information profusely. Secrets prevent connection. Too many secrets suggest inequities.
- Send people to others. Ask, “Who might be helpful,” not, “What might be helpful?”
- Share stories.
- Be transparent with weaknesses without whining or being weak.
3 ways to find time to connect:
The are only three ways to find more time.
- Eliminate. Do less of what matters less.
- Accelerate. Improve at what matters more, connecting, for example.
- Delegate. Get someone else to do stuff.
What prevents leaders from connecting?
What strategies and behaviors help leaders connect?
Yeppo, connecting (and the trust that is inherent in good leadership.)
Thanks Dr. Scott.
Yes, Dr. Scott and Dan. Especially when connecting in a mutually respectful AND trusful way that will benefit and inspire both the staff member/employee and leader.
What are ways a Leader can stay connected when there is distance between locations ?
Great question Daniel. I suggest using social media channels, phone calls, hand written notes. Engage in digital activities that are not just work…create personal connections.
Additionally, read their blog or follow them on twitter. If you want to follow them on facebook, ask permission. Let them know you are looking to connect on a more informal level. This doesn’t work in all cultures.
This echoes the great work in research on leadership and complex change done by those like Fullan, Hargreaves, Bloom, Prochaska, Collins, Kouzes & Posner, etc. It again points leaders to the importance of emotional intelligence–a must in complex times.
Ouch. This post is talking to me. Some of the list is me. And I don’t naturally gravitate to the thing that matters more. Good read for me this morning.
Dan, your daily commentary hit home as usual. Many Thanks! Can you suggest ways to connect to that “1 person” who stays at a distance no matter what you do to engage?
“Connection requires humility”, that has to be the most crucial aspect that the millennial (my) generation is missing. We seem to value the position or the stature of a friend or group, over the connections within the group.
Too many meetings prevent leaders from connecting. Some meetings are needed. Others are used as an excuse to not connect.
Excellent post Dan! One of my favourites…I am sure we all recognise leaders who focus on some or all of the ten things? (and I guess we gave all been guilty of the same at some point!)
Great Dan! Most of the problems can be sorted out if the Leader comes down the level and deems it proper to talk with people irrespective of their position. This resolves issues to a great extent. By distancing oneself, the barriers widen which does not help. Connectivity and communication are the pillars of success no matter what position you hold. One should have the humility to speak.
This is one of my favourite posts of yours, Dan. And I’ve been following along silently and appreciatively for a while now! Sometimes, as I’m feeling pressured by the time I’ve “wasted” walking around talking with my team and my colleagues, and annoyed by the interruptions of people stopping by my desk to bounce an idea or talk through a challenge, I need to remind myself that connecting is (or should be) a significant part of my role as a leader. This post offers the perfectand succinct reminder of that. I’m printing it as we speak, to have on hand when I forget the true value of those interactions. Thank you!
If, as a leader, you quit spending so much time and energy trying to “figure people out,” it’s far more likely that your staff will allow you to genuinely “get to know them.”
I was raised in old paradigm that put hard work ahead of everything. Taking time for people was irresponsible and lazy. And while this went against everything within me, I was shaped by it. Thanks for this significant wrecking ball in the further tearing down of my old walls, with blue prints for the next phase of re-construction. Here’s to being “transformed by the renewing of your mind”.
Outstanding! The words on the image speak volumes.
I think too many leaders try to lead by directing. Leading is about getting others to follow. Have a sincere interest in those around you and have a direction worth following and rest will happen naturally and happily.
Great stuff – so good I have share it twice!!