Leaders make decisions. History judges leaders on the quality and quantity of their decisions. Most leaders tendency is to rush to judge, but like a senile, inefficient, and incompetent Jury, they “remain in recess” ad infinitum. How many leaders by the time they actually decide to move on a problem situation or associate, have an entire team talking about why? Why did it take so long? The entire team knew the leader had rushed to judge, they just hadn’t finished. Some leaders tendency is to rush to judge and make the pronouncement in the emotion of the moment. They change directions based on the latest podcast, their forum, or last months performance. “So and so” doesn’t come back after lunch. Their stuff is boxed up and the vail is never lifted. Everybody keeps their head down and hopes they aren’t next. Yikes. Neither of these is the one we want.
The first, lets label The ruminator. This leader tends to ruminate too long and delay decisions. This team lives with way too many mediocre people, processes, and projects. The high performers head for the highway. The Productive Action here is to finish – sooner. Number two we’ll label The Terminator. This leader tends to react. Emotional moments override their senses. This team lives in fear of their volatile leader and trust quickly crumbles. PA here is to slow down, reflect, and work a plan that everybody understands.
The one we want, we’ll label The Reflective ACTionator.
This leader understands that all day, everyday, she’s on the hook to make better and better decisions. This leader has developed a process for asking piercing questions to get quickly and efficiently to the root of the problem and person. They understand who they are, what they stand for, where they’re going, why they’re going there, and they want a team that thinks and acts on it’s own as long as they have some kinda alignment. The team may not agree with every decision but at least they have a roadmap for understanding the motive. Freakin’ magic. We love a leader that reflects and acts. We all want to be led by a reflective actionator that thinks, feels, and acts more predictably today than yesterday. We give this one the benefit of the doubt and a bit more of our heart. Over time and through adversity, this team will perform some freakin’ magic. Which one do you want? Which one are you? How can you become a little less ruminator, a little less terminator, and a little more the Reflective ACTionator?
There’s no easy formula for becoming the Reflective ACTionator but there’s a great starting point. Start by writing at the end of each day ( I have one nut case client who writes short thoughts on the hour. His clarity is off the charts). Throw up your thoughts on paper or on your screen. Get thoughts out of your head and in some form of black and white print. As you make this a habit of your heart, your ruminations will become more reflections of your real thinking. You will begin to see where you’re waiting too long and where you’re jumping the gun. Your writing, as you reflect on it, will start to be enlightening – at least to you. You will begin to more confidently act. It may start small. Most do. As you gain confidence from your baby step actions/decisions, you’ll pick up speed. After awhile, and through lots of learning along the way, you’ll begin to transform into one of the few. You’ll become one who appears to act with little or no hesitation. You’ll be the reflective ACTionator. Your bias will appear to be toward action. You’ll know different. And, you’ll know why. Good.
Live hard. Love harder (Thanks, Teeks)…