In Change, Focus, Leaders

“Management is doing things right. Leadership is doing the right things.” – Peter Drucker

One of the critical things leaders need to be thinking about in our current world is focus. We are constantly bombarded by change in our businesses, technology, people, customers, etc. Some days it’s hard to know where to look.

There are a lot of things to choose from, and I certainly don’t claim to have a monopoly on good ideas, but here are 3 that I’ve been thinking about today:

Model what you want. There are so many leaders who have a really great picture in their heads of what they want their organizations to look like. They can envision a culture that everybody loves being part of. Then they, the leaders, go out and violate that culture. If you want a culture of respect as a leader, don’t treat people disrespectfully. If you want a culture that values flexibility, don’t be inflexible. You can’t ask your people to do something you’re not willing to do yourself. Words alone don’t do it – you have to act it out.

Develop yourself. Just because knowing this or being good at that put you in the leadership role you’re in doesn’t mean those things will keep you there. So much of what got us where we are will be or already is irrelevant going forward. Great leaders have to be lifetime learners. Great leaders know that whatever knowledge they have today isn’t going to be enough for tomorrow. Great leaders know they have to constantly evolve. You don’t get to a leadership role and coast. You get to a leadership role – and then you really get to work.

Move the rocks. Sometimes as leaders we get caught up in doing ‘our jobs’ to the point that we feel like we don’t have time for all these people who keep bothering us (our team). News flash: those people are your job. One of the most important things you can do as a leader is remove barriers to your team members’ success. I recently was told about a leader who has weekly one-on-one meetings with his team members to learn what ‘rocks’ he can remove from their path. Then he spends the rest of the week – or however long it takes – removing them.

Maybe you think you’ve already got those three things figured out. Congratulations! If not, I challenge you to spend the next 30 days thinking about and working on those 3 things. They’ll make a difference. Just stay focused.

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