Reflections on a Friday Evening

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lostToday I am going to reflect about my leadership path, as I managed to sidetrack for a while until I got a mental wakeup call (Thank you). I wonder what happened, and I am realizing that I drifted away from my own values as a leader. Or maybe I just haven’t realized how important it is to stay true to myself and really fasten the anchor?

Once upon a time…
Hi talk to me, what do you want? The voice was crystal clear, we were talking about goals. I want a promotion, I want to succeed I said. We sat in a small meeting room this was my third conversation with my coach. I knew my life would change. I know I can get a promotion here, and I want it I said. What kind of goal is this? He said without making a single accusation in his body language! I suddenly realized my leadership calling. I am on earth to make other people great. I am not here to get good results, I am not here for the promotion, and I am not here for a career. I am here to make other people great. WOW this goal has meaning, it gives me energy and the path is made by my vision and not by my ambition.

How can I defend this theory when I am hired to create results? I am measured by results. I work in a call center, everything can be measured there is no escape from the numbers.

When things go wrong and numbers doesn’t change a thing
I just had a mental slap in the back of my head. I did not get the results that we had provided all summer. What was wrong, how could I sidetrack? I know a lot about leadership, coaching and theory I am good at this game. I was accused of losing focus! Who me? No? Well they were right. I was lost in the numbers. The numbers and result focus won’t give you results. People give results. I lost my focus on the people. I am sorry for giving you a hard time when you told me, you where right Mr. F.

Walk the talk
All I needed to do is what I believe in, focus on the people. I wrote the numbers on a white board and forgot about them, the people will see it and take action by themselves. I started to greet my fellow co-workers both with a nice written message on a little white board just inside the door and by talking to everyone in the morning. And I try to talk to everyone when they leave and I ask if they had a great day, and if they say that they had a great day, my job is done. I need to do what I believe, and I believe that they can do it or anything, as long as I make sure that they have a great day.

Do not command, but ask
I have follow up conversations with my employees once per month. The follow up conversation is where I tell them how they are doing and what their goals should be. I have recently discovered that to be true to my own values I need to stop doing it in this way. I need to ask them; what is important to you? What are your goals? How are you doing? Are you satisfied with your results? If not, why? What can you do to reach your goals? I have never heard anyone that is satisfied with a mediocre goal. And I discovered that their goals can be different from what I used to preach. “I want to become a leader” – “What, don’t you want to answer 60 calls per day?” – Well to become a leader, you might need great results to be noticed won’t you?

Travelling down the leadership road
I really enjoy walking on my path. I do not know where it is going in the future, but I know how it will be going in the future. I still have a lot to learn as a leader, and I enjoy every day at work where I get the opportunity to change lives. I have just finished reading Steve Farber’s the radical LEAP. It is a great book; it is scary in the way that it is challenging me to dare to take more chances. I agree that I need to push myself forward, I have experienced that taking chances is giving results. But, and this is important as well. I need to place my anchor in my love in making other people great, and keep focusing on their goals and dreams. This book and some recent events at work made me reflect and in conclusion I need to be true to my cause, it gives me the right energy and the making other people great is what gets me out of bed in the morning. Looking at the numbers will not help me making other people great. Making other people great will create the numbers on the other hand.

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2 Comments on "Reflections on a Friday Evening"

  1. Hi Steve.
    Learning is a strong value in my life, as is sharing. My drive is to help others become good at what they do, and to do this I need to be open and I am obligated to continue to learn and grow myself. I still feel as a leadership rookie and I have a lot to learn. I have people around me that keep challenging me and I hope I manage to challenge others.
    Thank you for your friendship and support.

  2. Frode,

    I applaud you on taking such a risk by talking about your thoughts, your situation, and what you are learning.

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