I was embarrassed when Corey reminded me of some advice I gave him six years ago. My advice was, “I think you should get your head out of your a**.”
He said it was the best advice he’d ever been given.
It took me a moment, but I remembered the conversation on my back deck. He felt buried. Graduation was around the corner.
Things have changed.
Corey graduated, found a great job, married a wonderful woman, and became a father.
Corey said the advice was a little surprising. He wanted something ‘profound’. But he said it helped him realize that everything was going to be OK. He just needed a chance to breathe.
Maybe you’re neck deep right now.
I coach a leader who wanted my help solving a problem with one of his employees. I looked him in the eye and said, “You’re bigger than this.”
Yes, you have to solve day-to-day problems. But what are you doing to take your leadership to the next level?
The 4 laws of the rope:
#1. Get a view of your current situation. Pull yourself up and look around.
- Where are you now, compared to where you hoped to be?
- If things continue as they are, where will you be next week, month, quarter, or year?
#2. Adjust your bearings. With long-term goals in mind, ask:
- What are your near and middle-term opportunities?
- What is distracting you from doing what matters most?
- Where might the current talents and strengths on the team take you?
- Who might step up, if given the opportunity? 80% ready is ready enough.
- What tough decision are you putting off?
#3. Lower yourself back down into the weeds and get busy.
#4. Repeat once a week.
Leadership shrinks when all it does is focus on problems.
How might leaders keep one eye on the big picture while dealing with day-to-day challenges?