To paraphrase Dolly Parton; ‘sometimes its hard to be a leader’.The joy of leadership lies in chosing to do all those things that are hard at the time, and seeing the outcome of those choices come to fruition months later.So when you look at it that way, being a leader is only as hard as you want to make it.
Saying No can be a Big Yes
Saying ‘no’ is harder in a ‘jittery’ climate of organisational restructures. We’re keen to keep our jobs but then we make the leap between saying ‘no’ and losing our jobs. However, saying ‘no’ to more work is part of self-leadership because it is linked with job effectiveness.
Saying ‘no’ is easier when we: are crystal clear on our job purpose; understand our personal purpose and do more of our ‘sweet spot’ activities; know and spend the bulk of our time on our high leverage activities; sort out in our own head that ‘doing it all’ does not equate to feeling valued; set boundaries and expectations clearly with others; jointly find solutions; are proactive in managing changing priorities.
There is no one thing that will get us saying ‘no’ but a clear head, underpinned by a sense of purpose and progress makes it far easier to say ‘no’ in a jittery employment environment.
‘Get over Yourself?’
We fancy ourselves as pretty tough in this country. ‘Get over yourself’ is a reasonably common phrase here. However, just telling ourselves to ‘get over yourself’, and ignoring our state of mind, doesn’t work by itself. It’s important to take note when we’re ‘out of sorts’ because in fact brain-wise we may be. As simple as it may be, getting a good night’s sleep, and breathing well throughout the day, will set you up for integrated brain success. So, ironically by attending (i.e. ‘getting into yourself’) rather than ignoring your current state, you’ll make significant steps toward ‘getting over yourself’ and moving forward in an elegant and integrated way.
I’m not aware of there being a drug that improves leadership (unless coaching is a drug) but given the sporting world’s example, I wonder how widely it would be used if there was? And how it would be justified. Lance Armstrong seemed to say that he wasn’t cheating because everyone else was taking drugs too. No doubt similar responses will come out in Australian sport, because we humans have an uncanny capacity to justify things in our minds. Many of us that stand outside of sport are horrified by the lack of ‘ ethics’ or ‘morals’ of the people that take drugs, and can’t understand those who justify it. But not all of us. In this blog we explore the leaders role in ethics of a business and ask whether we all know where we draw our line.
The role of a manager is a serious role, with a lot of responsibility. But does that mean the manager has to have a permanently serious demeanor? The managers of my youth seemed to be, and like many I grew up in management thinking that was how I had to be; serious of visage, demeanor and word. And with that comes a tendency to take ourselves seriously.
But does it have to be this way? In this blog we explore leadership persona with some insight from the worlds top airline.