Yesterday during practice 214 with a team of thirty souls, the head of the system challenged the team without so much as a second thought. His second nature is getting tight, you see. The time it takes him to go from having a thought to opening his mouth has dramatically shrunk over the course of the past six years. He has less worry around how his words will be perceived and more belief he can always repair if he goes too far. So, yesterday he pushed and his team received and pushed back too. His words were good. His words were not frustrated, angry, or condescending. His words were challenging and came from belief. Good.
Your strength, leader, is not reflected in your ability to power over people where you enjoy a “one up position.” Your strength is reflected in your ability to influence. And, nothing increases your influence with those under your position than your presence. Your presence, if you want your power to multiply, must be calm, consistent, and caring. And, your presence must ooze a tendency toward a performance edge. We want our leader to perform and have an edge that oozes her competence in her craft without any complacency creep. We want our leader committed to competence in her craft and carry herself with calm, consistency, caring, and confidence without condescending. We want our leader to inspire us in the heat of the moment by regulating the room, not overheating, and certainly not coming unhinged. High bar, huh.
Today, remember the best way to avoid the hijacking of your emotions regardless the triggers, is to build your second nature and shorten the time it takes you to move from thought to action. You see, the root of frustration that condescends is found in your craw. Nothing good happens when you allow negative thoughts to sit and fester in your craw. You think you’re doing us all a favor by holding everything in but you’re not. Once the pressure hits whatever represents your boiling point, the stuff accumulating in your craw comes out and it’s most likely not going to be the stuff either you or teammates wants coming up and out.
Yesterday, I saw an example of good stuff coming out ’cause it hadn’t been in there long. And, I saw some not so nice stuff come out and shut down a teammate who simply sat there and took it. Not good.
Want a team that runs through walls for you, leader? Clean up your craw. If you find yourself holding onto negative thoughts about one of your teammates, you are not doing anyone a favor by letting them accumulate in your craw. The best way to clean a dirty, cluttered craw is to start with a curious question. Most conflict is simply a convo to be had. Your problem, most likely, is you’ve been waiting too long to talk. You’ve been holding back out of some misplaced fear or some rationalization. Come clean, friend. Talk to your teammate. Start curious. Stay open. Go slow. Once you gain perspective, do your job.
Correct. Challenge. Encourage. Repair. Demand. Come alongside. Get out of the way. Put parties together. Pull pairs apart. Hard being a leader, huh. Gotta love the team and love the craft. And, don’t forget to clean your craw…