“As leaders, we should think of ourselves as teachers and try to create companies in which teaching is seen as a valued way to contribute to the success of the whole.” Ed Catmull
Here is the secret: Real leaders are teachers! If you are not teaching your staff, you are missing a huge leadership opportunity and limiting the overall potential for your business.
I started doing noon hour training sessions in the mid-90’s. I think the first few sessions I did were on goal setting (based on Les Hewitt’s The Power of Focus) and they were pretty rough (a special shout out to all those who attended and never walked out!) However, the more sessions I ran, the better I got. I then encouraged others to do the same thing and we ended up with all kinds of employee led training sessions.
“The main thing is keeping the main thing the main thing.” Stephen Covey
What is your “main thing”? What is it that you do so well that people are willing to pay you for it? If you are not doing your main thing, or what you do best every day, chances are you are frustrated and even disengaged at work. According to Gallup annual poll, only 31.5% of US employees were engaged at work in 2014. That means that 68.5% of the US is not engaged in their work! As business leaders, this should scare us!
My main thing is leadership. Specifically: strategy, process and structure, and communication. Today, I do that from a business point of view by setting business strategy and vision, building processes and structure to implement that strategy and then communicating to the organization through this process. Prior to business leadership, I did the same thing from a project management perspective and, earlier, from an engineering and construction perspective.
Last week I wrote about the importance of setting up your Advisors Network and I listed a number of my Advisors Council members that have really helped me over my career. This weeks post will list some of the books or references from these icons that I have leveraged over the years. In many cases I have multiple books from each of these authors but I will limit the list to the one source from that individual that made the biggest difference in my professional development.
We have all heard a lot about networking over the years and how it is important for each of us to get out into the marketplace and build our network. Although I agree that building this personal network is important, it is what you do with the network you create that will determine your future success.
The focus of this post is not on leveraging your network for business or sales but rather working with your network to set up what I call an Advisors Network. No one knows everything that is needed to be successful in life and business in every circumstance. We all need help in many areas over the course of our lifetime. This is where the Advisors Network comes in. It allows you to leverage the expertise of many people when you need this specific expertise. Each of these people brings something to the table that you may not have as a strength or as a skill.
Have you ever settled for mediocre in some area of your life or business? Did you notice how easy it was for this mediocrity to spread from that area to something else and then from there to another area and so on?
Mediocrity is like a dangerous virus . . . it is highly contagious. The smallest seed of mediocrity will grow and, once you are infected in one area of your life, mediocrity will spread everywhere. Mediocrity can define and even destroy you!!!
Mediocrity comes naturally to us. This is because mediocrity is the easy path. Mediocrity is swimming downstream with the majority instead of swimming upstream against the current. It is the path that is the least painful. It is the path of least resistance.