Illumination for U2…

I recently gave a fellow builder some feedback on his practice. I spoke ccd (clear,concise, and direct) and asked one curious question and one challenging. His response gave me an opening to hit him with some truth and so I took it.

I hit him hard between the eyes.

My aim wasn’t to prove a point. My aim was to redeem his performance. He is the most virtuous builder among us and yet, he too, has blindspots. Last week one such blindspot was illuminated. I am certain this hurt and I am certain the help outweighed it. Leaders embrace being this kinda pain. Leading anything, remember, is real, hard, work. Pain is inevitable. Misery is a choice. Leaders choose the acute kind early and often to avoid the latter. Moving on…

After delivering a redemptive punch to the face, I asked my fellow builder to send me his learnings in writing to confirm he had heard the root of his blindspot. I passed the tension to its rightful owner. He took it. He wrote me, as promised, yesterday.

He got it.

His writing was crystal clear. His PA was specific, concrete, and actionable. I smiled as I reviewed his plan. As he turns his learning into consistent PA (productive action), his performance will be redeemed. He will realize his potential. He will smile too. Excellence, remember, isn’t about perfection; it’s about mastery. Masters, over time and through adversity after adversity, simply realize their God given potential. FM, baby.

Leaders, embrace the acute pain of hitting those you love with the unvarnished truth in LOVE. Remember, it will mostly be heard as truth in anger. And, remember that your team has poor hearing when told something about their performance that is perceived as needing redemption. We all tend to get defensive when told our performance could be better. Expect this. Use whatever tactics you deem as necessary to get through your teammates defenses. Remember, you are trying to help them. You can’t help them if they don’t hear you…

So many performance problems in the world of work are caused by pussyfooting, passive aggressive kinda leaders who have a failure of nerve when confronting a performance problem with one of their teammates. Truth in LOVE, remember, is oftentimes a “tough, f’ you kind of love” as U2 frontman Bono would say. STOP sugar coating your signals, my friend. Hit your teammates with the truth, hear their side of it, illuminate their blindspots, pass the tension to them, and ask them to play it back in black and white, in writing. Hold them accountable to turn their learning into PA.

And, seek this kinda illumination for U2. Seek this kinda feedback for you…

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: