Taking a moment to think about what Football is as a sport, have you ever related it to your own team? Each players position is selected by their attributes and skill set. If each individual player only does their assigned tasks, progress is made.
At the start of a game a coin is tossed, the very first game of chance. Win the coin toss and your choice decides if the team kicks or receives. The side of the field you will defend is also ruled at this point. The result of this will be switched in the second half.
- What is the starting point for your team?
- Do we as Leaders start the day with Strategic Boundaries in the choices we’ve presented our team with?
The ball is kicked to the opposing team. If your special teams unit is highly skilled they will run the ball back for a score or place the ball in the most favorable field position for the offensive team. However, if the defense (Adversity) is more skilled, they will put you in the least favorable position for your offensive unit.
- What position are your goals in?
- Are employees set up to make incremental advances, or do you expect the goal completed each time?
- Most of us are pushing for the goal, hanging our heads when it’s not obtained. Are we celebrating the effort?
The battle has time restrictions. Charges to complete the goal must be obtained within the given periods. Our teams are given breaks to reflect, compose and revisit situations.
- If you’ve failed; fail forward – learn from the mistakes, move on.
- Use your down time to reflect, create a plan and work that plan.
- As the Coach, where is your guidance?
During this incredible clash, how aware you are of the situation, may constitute your success. As the QB and coach watch the formation, crowd and external sources – they call audibles. A change of play.
- In order to minimize infractions, employees must be aware of boundaries.
- The importance of the goal cannot be compromised by what we’re willing to do to get the goal.
- Can we be educated about our tasks and have discipline completing them?
The team that scores the most points wins; that’s it. Now we need to understand that scoring the most points won’t just happen, consistently. If a team doesn’t win we need to reward the effort, that will gain the result. As a Leader, your job is to focus on the opportunity, not always the obstacle.
Working with some peers of mine, I’ve been involved in the Panel Interview process for prospective candidates. In preparation for the next interview I picked up her resume. A few items jumped out at me. One of the positions was “Assistant to General Manager” and “Assistant to Vice President”. A couple of great positions. One bullet on the paper was made in a larger font, describing her branch as the top in the State of Colorado for being the best overall.
I was intrigued by the effort put into this resume. This individual was applying for an entry level position within hospitals. Knowing and understanding when people change careers, they settle for their minds to be okay “just getting my foot in the door”. Sometimes people need an opportunity – that’s why we’re here.
Currently our process involves one interviewer to ask questions (pre-selected questions), one to scribe and the third to observe. It was my turn to ask the questions. If you know me, you know I like to “Keep it Real”. I don’t enjoy scripts or to sound like a robot. I take the basis of the question, put it in different words and personalize where I can. This individual was doing well in answering some of the questions, where I thought I needed to dig deeper, I did. Times where I questioned the answer or the results, I peeled back some layers with more questions.
After the interview we discussed the results. We all agreed this person would be a great addition to our teams. However we did question a few items. Will this person (who showed some great foundational qualities for Leadership) be our next Practice Manager? Will they get bored because they had done so well so fast? What will the longevity be?
We had some great discussion – set up some time for observation and let the hiring Practice Manager make a decision.
Two weeks later I met up with my peers again for another round of these interviews. When I met with Will (One of Will’s TM’s recommended the individual we interviewed) he said to me “Hey, I’ve got some feedback for you about your interview last week”. I was excited to get some feedback from my peers! I have helped Will with his interview style, as he sounded very scripted and at times, reading questions right off of the paper – imagine how excited I was to now get feedback from him!
Will said “Remember the interviewee, Suzie, we liked last week, she told the person who recommended her that you sounded very scripted and only dug in deeper when the Field Director walked in to the interview”.
I was blown away….. Will thought it was funny, so did Gloria, another interviewer. I knew they found her impression of the interview different than what we’d understood – possibly even questioning the reason for feedback to one of Will’s TM’s. I wasn’t offended, I promised to my peers I would work on sounding scripted.
Shortly after, Will said “Now I know I can’t take feedback from her”.
There it was, the title of this blog, staring me in the face. With Will now feeling he couldn’t take feedback from this person, how many other people thought the same thing prior to us?
The things we say and the people we say them to, will have an impact on where we go and who we go there with. As Leaders, some of us may feel like we need to be the most dominant Leader, we have to prove our knowledge or experience. By analyzing someone else, then giving that to feedback someone who doesn’t know, could be dangerous.
If you’ve been going in circles and don’t change something, you’ll continue going in that circle. The next time you feel you’re going in a circle, stop, dead in your tracks. Turn around and look at that circle. Visit the things you’ve done, see where you needed to change what you are doing.
This is something I wrote about a year ago, learning about my own self awareness:
Do you know what Self Awareness is? Is it an awareness of your own individuality? I think it’s deeper than that.
To me it means a person’s awareness of self with regard to position and time and place and personal relationships. Going even further, the way you are viewed by others. How do you want to be viewed?
This afternoon I was on my way out to run some errands. I needed to take the trash out so I grabbed the bag and took it with me, throwing it in the back of the car to drop off at a dumpster on my way.
Some of you know me, Umair the professional General Manager. Others know me as Umair, friend, brother, father… Just another guy. Few of you remember Umair the skinny kid from Williams.
Some who know me know how much I enjoy my music, “Rap” music, most of which I really only listen to it if it’s by underground artists from Sacramento. Even the General Manager enjoys his music, most of the time, loud. You might even catch me singing, dancing and making some unknown type of gestures with my hands, I have yet to figure out what I’m doing.
As I got out of the car and grabbed the trash I left the door open with my music on. I noticed a few people out on their balcony smoking and watching me. As I turned back around to get in the car it hit me, hard. I’m wearing a pair of dark blue baggy pants, A black shirt with a blue “jumpman” on it, a black and blue Denver Nuggets hat and a pair of white Nikes with blue swooshes. The CD in my car had a track playing called “C Walk To Dis” by C Lim.
What were these people thinking when they heard the lyrics? They have no idea how well I do in my professional life or how great my team is. They hear the words and see the colors. They will create their own opinions, rightfully so.
Self Awareness is a great thing when you peel back the layers of it and come to a true realization of yourself. I will not change the type of music I listen to because of the lyrics or content. It’s what I like, I grew up on it. I will be more aware of the image I project and how I want to be viewed. How often do you find yourself listening to something from a period of time that you were growing up?
I started asking myself questions. What if the lady was the executive of a company I would interview for? What would be the conversation at the dinner table if those were the parents of one of my Team Members? How would I view the situation if I was the one observing? Would I want that person representing me, my team or my peers? Most importantly, am I smart enough to separate the individual from the image?
I’m not a banger, crip, thug or any of those things we quickly think of when we hear that kind of music. I don’t even know how to C Walk, I’m afraid if I tried I would hurt myself. I just like the song. But what did ‘they’ think?
Many people don’t like Rap or Hip Hop. Nobody says you need to. A few of you will understand me, some will be quick to judge me, very few will learn something. But most will be so far away from their own Self Awareness that they will say something at some point proving their ignorance.
How would you view this situation? What questions would you ask yourself? Have you ever had any realizations of awareness?
The difference will show to be true if you get over yourself enough to become aware.
Please leave a comment.
When you #LeadFromWithin you can say:
“What progress, you ask, have I made? I have begun to be a friend to myself.”
Today, on a flight to Charlotte, NC – I read this note, it reminded me of the friendships created with many, many people in our #LeadFromWithin Community. Over the past week my mind has been consumed with a reality of life; the reality of death. As a very good friend of mine lay in criticle condition, with a questionable outcome – many of you, my friends, supported me and provided thoughts and prayers to a friend of mine. One that you don’t even know.
For this I thank you. The following note reminds me of us:
“I therefore wish to impart to you this sudden change in myself; I should then begin to place a surer trust in our friendship, – the true friendship which hope and fear and self-interest cannot sever, the friendship in which and for the sake of which men meet death. I can show you many who have lacked, not a friend, but a friendship; this, however, cannot possibly happen when souls are drawn together by identical inclinations into an alliance of honourable desires. And why can it not happen? Because in such cases men know that they have all things in common, especially their troubles.
You cannot conceive what distinct progress I notice that each day brings to me. And when you say: “Give me also a share in these gifts which you have found so helpful,” I reply that I am anxious to heap all these privileges upon you, and that I am glad to learn in order that I may teach. Nothing will ever please me, no matter how excellent or beneficial, if I must retain the knowledge of it to myself. And if wisdom were given me under the express condition that it must be kept hidden and not uttered, I should refuse it. No good thing is pleasant to possess, without friends to share it.”
Feeling this note very deeply; I had to share this with a community that models these ideas.
With great pleasure I can report to you that Paul is no longer on life support. He is making great progress each day with minimal (if any) signs of brain damage, thus far. With a long road to recovery; please keep him in your thoughts – and again, thank you for having me in yours.
Recently during a flight to Boston I was reminded that I don’t check-in often enough with my people in the field or their Leadership teams. Are they living my values? Are they leading the company with the message we’ve put forward? Most importantly, do they know what that message is?
I’ve been reading a book called “Strengths Based Leadership” – what a great book and the tool provided (StrengthsFinder 2.0) is awesome! We boarded our JetBlue flight, a snow storm had dropped about 8 inches of snow in Denver in the early hours of the morning. The plane needed to de-ice before take off, which added about 45 extra minutes to our travel, no big deal. As per the flight teams instruction, electronic devices were not permissible. So I used the time to read.
I was reading a great story of Simon Cooper, President of Ritz-Carlton. I had just started reading the story when I came upon a phrase I loved, “if was how Ritz-Carlton’s employees ‘bring the brand to life’ every time they interact with a guest”. That had sparked some thought. As I was thinking, the customer on this flight behind us asked the Flight Attendant a question: “Since the flight isn’t full, can we move to another seat?” The Flight Attendant responded by saying “If there is an empty seat behind you, you can move there. Anything up front you can move to and pay more”.
Wow, both my wife and I looked at each other, amazed at the answer. The flight might have ben two thirds full with many, many seats in the front empty. Just being the person I am, I wondered why you wouldn’t want someone to be happy on something you’re not getting paid for anyway.
I continued reading, the words from Simon Cooper continued to inspire me to empower and teach:
“People create memories, not things. If we ask guests what color the carpet was in their guest room, they probably won’t know. The real value comes from the ladies and gentleman [employees] who bring that hotel to life. Ten percent is the platform, but the rest is people.”
Barring the un-expected delays, the flight was great, service was awesome. Thinking about making one, just one person happier than they already were – I was frustrated. Not frustrated with the Flight Attendant, frustrated that she wasn’t empowered to make the right decision. Somewhere in the pipeline an individual put focus on structure, rather than giving the customer something they couldn’t pay for – service excellence.
Reading more and thinking more, I caught JetBlue’s “commitment” on their in-flight entertainment: You Above All. I know they teach their values and understand the importance. Where does the connection stop?
- How often do you check-in on your employees?
- Are they empowered to make the decision you will ultimately make?
- Do we focus enough on Service Excellence?
- What are your employees doing right now?
- Does your Leadership Team know your values and drive them?
Leave a comment or a thought!
Have you known someone your entire life, yet you feel you didn’t ‘know’ them at all? You knew of them and their roll to you, but didn’t understand the impact they had on many others. This is how I felt about four years ago, after my mother passed away.
Leaving home early to join the US Air Force I was on my own for my “Adult” life. She played her role well for me, as my mother. Soon after the Air Force I moved to Denver, Co to attend school. Once again she delivered everything I expected from my mother and then some.
She lived a secret life that I knew nothing of – she was a mentor and leader for others, where I thought she was “just a general manager”.
Ana helped me realize this at a very critical time of my own development. Around the time I was learning about Awareness, Ana made a comment – “I could always talk to your mom without her interrupting me”. As I read that I was in the middle of putting together notes for Active Listening. What an impactful time that was. I started to think more, I realized I knew Mom, but I didn’t know the Leader that she was.
I wanted to learn more about a part of a loved one that I didn’t know; I asked some friends who had an opportunity to work with her. Here is what they said:
Kathleen –“ Koomba, that’s easy! She was willing to drop anything to do something for you, to help a person out, to give them a break.”
- A Servant Leader who wasn’t afraid to jump into the trench and be a part of the battle.
- A passion for people – their happiness.
Sajit – “Soooo many to list! But she was the first person that came up with Tandoori Turkey 32 years ago. Sorry for the ones that won’t get it. Still the best Turkey I remember ever eating J”
- Innovation. Some of the greatest leaders we know think outside of the norm.
- The Leader takes chances. A Leader isn’t afraid to take some chances and make some mistakes. They will never know what could have been if they didn’t try it.
Maria – She was always so easy to talk too. I had many conversations with her.
- Active listening. It’s easier to say I’m a good listener than to show that I’m a good listener.
- When your employees TRULY feel you’re going to listen to them, they’ll teach you many things about yourself.
Ash –Umair, the one thing that comes to me when I think of your mom was her capacity for love and empathy towards others. She had a beautiful heart. I will never forget when she came to my mom’s service – your mom wasn’t in the best of health during that time and for the most part she stayed home in spite of her own pain she made the time to come and be there. She came up to me while I was crying, standing by my mom’s casket, held me tight and told me it was ok to grieve and if I ever needed anything at any time day or night, she was there for me and I was always welcome in her home. Wow, I’m starting to tear up thinking about that moment. But yeah, your mom, one in a million my friend! <3
- A true Leader has a real feeling for all of her acquaintances, not just the employees she works with, but her community, whatever it may be.
- Empathy is hard to learn if it’s not a strength you have. Once obtained it is very powerful and uplifting to your followers.
Alicia – My Aunty Shamin always treated me like I was one of her own! To this day I haven’t found a love that was compared to hers
- Leaders act from the heart with intentionality. Not everyone appreciates the intention; we’re not all on the same page. You should feel love from your Leader.
Nathan – That’s a trip homie. I was telling new friends about our friendship today. I talked about your mom for the first time probably since you and I last talked about her. Something special was going on today. Love ya man!
- If we create a legacy as Leaders, it doesn’t die. Your passion, love and thoughts will create a place in time and history.
Moreen – Your mother was a beautiful woman, inside and out. She was very kind hearted and easy to talk to. She is definitely missed by us all.
- The greatest of Leaders are impactful with the people they lead, then are led by.
Arturo – Your mom was one of a kind, always there for anything we needed. She always had advice for anything. If you screwed up she wouldn’t hesitate to let you know. But most important she will encourage you to do better.
- A Leader will create a culture. With boundaries and discipline the culture will be defined. A culture of accountability is most important.
- An understanding that accountability isn’t only reprimand, it’s also encouragement.
John – I remember when she found out the situation I was in, with my shitty parents, brothers and sisters. She showed a great deal of compassion toward me. She literally tried to take me out of the situation I was in. I remember her picking me up and taking me shopping. You and I almost got matching silk shirts.
So, when I think of your mom, I think of compassion and her attitude of urgency to help a person… a person she hardly knew. Single mother have to be leaders.
- Compassion is nothing without an attitude of urgency. A Leader must constantly review why she does what she does.
Although I’ve always felt love, these are things I didn’t know about the leader who led me with love. I want to thank each and every one of you who commented helping me learn. Without you, she didn’t have an opportunity to learn and teach as much as she did. Without your feedback I wouldn’t be able to help others.
From my heart, thank you.
That’s the name of the book I’m reading & it talks a lot “followship”. Referencing the leadership lesson from the dancing guy. The book describes it as “Mach One Followship”.
A quote I just read said “To Lead People, Walk Behind Them”. The best leaders seem to slip into the background & fully support the “followers” lead. Then the follower becomes an advocate for the leaders leadership & others begin to follow the leader.
At that point you must ask, “then who is really the leader?” Then as you (follower to leader) continue to grow within your own, do you then ask “does it really matter?”
Just thought I would share my thought this morning.