How can I make the most of my time during Groundhog Day, er, I mean COVID 19 quarantine?
More than likely, like me, you have a lot more free time during this period quarantine and social distancing. Use this time to assess or reassess yourself. Your values. Your leadership. Give yourself a matrix and grade yourself against that matrix.
I have spent countless hours using this space and time assessing and reassessing myself. There are aspects of my life and leadership I am very proud of. However, I am surprised at how much work I need to do in my own life and leadership – as a man, as a Dad, as a grandad (the real OG), as a leader, as a friend.
It’s pretty humbling.
And yet, the more we find within ourselves the need for growth the more we can focus our attention on those areas that need it most.
Use this timely wisely.
You’ve seen him or her. The parent who cannot let go of their child. They hold on much too long. They hover. They hold them back. They refuse to encourage their child too much for fear their child will fly the coop.
And who loses out.
Both the parent and the child.
The child loses out on reaching his or her fullest potential. The parent loses out on the joy and satisfaction of seeing their offspring really soar on their own, knowing they – the parent – provided the necessary foundation.
The same is with leadership and empowering culture.
Great leaders and empowering cultures have one thing in common: Constant loss due to upward movement.
This is not turnover. It is upward movement.
Leader, don’t hold back your people. Don’t hang on too long. Learn to build your people by providing opportunities for growth.
Then be ready to release them.
Leadership is building – and losing – your people.
Promotions are a great thing. Most people live for promotions.
Yet, often, in many organizations we observe a talented individual and, because we believe more responsibility for this talented individual will mean greater success for the organization, we promote the individual.
And sometimes – more than we care to admit – the individual fails.
We promoted the individual past the point of their competence.
This lack of competence does not make the person a bad employee. It means we, the leader, made a poor leadership decision.
Promotions should be based on the future competence of a person rather than their current performance. It is important to remember, not everyone should be promoted.
For the good of organization – and the person – sometimes (many times) it is best to keep this person right where they are. Sure, every person needs opportunities to grow, but often these opportunities can come within a person’s current position.
Promotions good and necessary… when given to the right person.
One of the books I am reading right now is Build An A Team by Whitney Johnson. I highly recommend anyone who is passionate about leadership and culture to read this book.
In this book, Whitney talks about the S Curve.
To summarize, everyone has about a 3-5 year window in which they will be fully engaged with their job.
The first 6 months to a year is a time of learning. The next three to four years is the time for engagement and growth. The last year to 18 months are when mastery is achieved. When mastery is achieved, it is time to progress.
Yet, many organizations do not have a path for growth.
So, the fifth year comes and we wonder why our people start lacking engagement. It is because they need an avenue for growth…which means a new challenge.
Are you offering your people an avenue for growth every 3 to 5 years?
You’ve got 5 good years with each of your team members… max. After that, you have to grow them or be prepared to lose them.
When we invest our money, we expect a return on that investment. We give our money away with the hopes of gaining more on the return.
The richest men and women in history gained their wealth by using the money of other people, investing that money, growing that money and returning more money back into the hands of the investors.
As leaders, we must see the people who join our mission in the same way.
They are INVESTORS.
For a season, they invest their gifts for the use of our mission. As leaders, our job is to use the talents of other people, invest those talents, grow those talents and, on a regular basis, return those gifts back into the hands of the “investors.”
When the people who join our mission decide to leave the mission for other pastures, their talents should be more developed than when they first came to us.
Investing is growing money.
Leadership is growing people.