Growth in the world begins with growth inside. Good leaders exhibit a moment to moment commitment to become something more than what they are. They read to learn. They engage to be challenged. They listen to be enlightened. Consequently, their followers’ growth is a reflection of that process.
In your quest to become more than you were yesterday, here are a few podcast interviews I’ve listened to lately that made me want to pull over the car and take notes. Enjoy!
Stanley McChrystal (retired General and Managing Partner at McChrystal Group) recently posted a LinkedIn article, How I Keep Up with an Unrelenting Work Pace. The article was published February 1, 2016 and is receiving excessive praise from many. It is also receiving criticism from those who note the inherent risks of applying strategic level leadership experiences without thought or reflection. Here are some things you should pay attention to when reading McChrystal’s article.
Think back on your recent interactions. If I asked you how many times you made destructive comments towards the people you work with, how would you answer? “Destructive? No way. I’m a nice person. And when I do give feedback, it’s never destructive.” What about if I asked you how many times you talked negatively about someone when he or she wasn’t present? “Well sure, but everyone does that. It’s part of our culture.”
The topic we are approaching here is a silent leadership killer. Who’s leadership, you ask? Yours, your boss’s, your subordinates’. Destructive comments slip into an organization, infect the culture, manifest as other problems, and kill the trust that leaders worked so hard to build.
Today, you’ll be guilty of making comments that can destroy your organization, and you likely don’t even know it.
Command Sgt. Maj. Alan D. Bjerke, command sergeant major of the 3rd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division, speaks to Canadian Soldiers during practice for a live fire event during Cooperative Spirit 2008 at the Joint Multinational Readiness Center near Hohenfels, Germany. Link
It’s Baghdad, 2007. I’m a company commander deploying to a contentious area during the height of The Surge. As my unit starts to shadow the unit we’re replacing, and I spend time with my counterpart and his battalion’s staff, I begin to hear a new phrase pop up: “It is what it is.”
I wouldn’t have thought much of it, but I heard that response from numerous members of the unit, and applied to all types of discussion topics. My buddies and boss picked up on it, too. I heard “It is what it is” so much that I began to think it was an approved mentality of the unit, a sanctioned mindset.
Warrior Diplomat Soldiers from 85th Civil Affairs Brigade use teamwork to negotiate obstacles at the Leaders Reaction Course on Fort Hood, Tx., Oct. 9, 2014. Link to photo
Today’s media recommendation is The EntreLeadership Podcast episode from Oct. 25, 2011. It’s linked below, check it out.
How often do commanders and staff leaders delegate a project with little to no guidance on parameters, endstate, or what success looks like? How often have new Soldiers/Officers arrived to the unit but not immediately been armed with the tools they’ll need for success?
Dave Ramsey explains that it is the LEADER’S job to equip the team for success, and it’s the LEADER’S fault if they fail.