A friend asked me a question that infected my brain like a splinter. It was a ridiculous question that I thought myself smart enough to answer. So I did.
“When you think of all the people you have coached, what’s the one thing you would like to tell them all?”
The question seems ridiculous – leaders are individuals. But in my silly brilliance an answer came to my mind. Answers have never been a problem for me, especially wrong ones.
The one thing I would say to all the coaching clients I have ever had has four parts.
#1. Forget about perfecting any leadership skill.
Corporate knuckleheads need to measure stuff. They need to see how close to perfect they are and how far you fall short. 2+2=4 is perfect. But people aren’t equations.
Track improvement. But…
The idea of measuring something that can always be improved is hilarious.
#2. Strive to develop several leadership skills, but not at the same time.
Working to develop two leadership skills at the same time cuts effectiveness in half. Working on three leadership skills at the same time is a complete waste.
Humility develops one thing. Arrogance works on everything.
#3. Focus on three relevant skills. (See #2 above.)
Perhaps delegating, leading one-on-ones, and managing your calendar seem most relevant. Go for it! Don’t overthink it.
In a month or two, you’ll lose interest in improving your delegating skills. Pat yourself on the back and focus on the next thing.
When you develop one thing, other things improve.
#4. 80% is good enough.
Don’t polish the turd. Develop a skill to 80% and move on. The last 20% isn’t worth it.
How will you know when you’ve reached 80%? Go with your gut.
One thing: Constantly develop yourself. (Maybe the question wasn’t ridiculous.)
What’s the one thing you would say to ALL leaders?