Why the leader has to fire herself from the day to day

Click on this link to see the full video (0:38) of the screenshot above showing how one can get into trouble by doing too many things at once.

In a February 2006 TED Talk, Sir Ken Robinson said the following…”Our education system is predicated on the idea of academic ability. And there’s a reason. Around the world, there were no public systems of education, really, before the 19th century. They all came into being to meet the needs of industrialism. So the hierarchy is rooted in two ideas. Number one, that the most useful subjects for work are at the top. So you were probably steered benignly away from things at school when you were a kid, things you liked, on the grounds you would never get a job doing that. Is that right? ‘Don’t do music, you’re not going to be a musician; don’t do art, you won’t be an artist’. Benign advice — now, profoundly mistaken. The whole world is engulfed in a revolution.

And the second is academic ability, which has really come to dominate our view of intelligence because the universities design the system in their image. If you think of it, the whole system of public education around the world is a protracted process of university entrance (to ultimately prepare us for some type of employment). And the consequence is that many highly talented, brilliant, creative people think they’re not, because the thing they were good at at school wasn’t valued, or was actually stigmatized. And I think we can’t afford to go on that way.”

I agree and believe one of the great problems we have inherited as leaders is that our overarching business culture is rooted in this history. One that valued the mining of human beings to produce a particular commodity consequently dampening, or in some cases, eliminating creativity, critical thinking, and innovation. More so, valuing being right over learning and growing – a system rife with error. However, now, in America, we are primarily a service economy. That is, organizations made up of people whose primary job is to serve other people. 

We have transitioned from largely mechanistic systems to organic systems, Being so demands a nourishing environment to flourish – not a command and control environment. Mostly gone are the days of industrialism, rote systems, hierarchy, and hyper-efficiency. I believe strongly that the main job of leaders is to create atmosphere. An atmosphere of self-efficacy where our teams can flourish, grow, learn and thrive. Our job as leaders and coaches is to instill, inspire and make room for self-efficacy. When we do this, our teams will become more engaged, be fulfilled in and look forward to coming to work every day.  Every stakeholder benefits from this approach – shareholders to customers to team members. Simon Sinek tells a startling story about this phenomenon.

As Amy Edmondson advises, reframe your role as boss so you set direction instead of giving answers, invite input to clarify and improve instead of giving orders, create conditions for continued learning instead of assessing others’ performances.

The first step in going further, faster (the theme of my upcoming book) is to create a company that can run on a daily basis without you so you can spend your time on the few things that truly matter. For those that do, matter tremendously, and will make all the difference in your life and the lives of those you have chosen to take with you on this wonderful journey. 

When you make this part of the everyday, your business will go further and grow faster with less effort from you and the handful of key people you typically rely on every day, week, and month. Freeing up more and more time to focus on your real job as a leadership team which is to predict your future with a high level of accuracy. The first place I recommend you start is with your team. Have you surrounded yourself as effectively as possible with people who can perform their key functions(s) better than you can? A team whose input you value and incorporate to make the team and the company run a little bit better every day?A team that is well rounded to optimally perform its key function(s) to move the company further, faster?I will leave you with this from Greg McKeown, author of Essentialism:

Be Exceptional!

Bill  – Multi-certified Growth Coach, Foundations in NeuroLeadership certified, Predictive Index Certified Partner
(bill@catalystgrowthadvisors.comwww.catalystgrowthadvisors.com)

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