Many famous philospophers wax poetic about tapping in to that inner you and reaching your highest potential. The more of that inner work you do, the better person, leader, spouse, parnter, parent, friend you become.
I remember a few years back interiewing a senior executive female leader and I asked her a question I like to ask almost everyone, and that is "what keeps you up at night"?
I was somewhat suprised by her answer, but should not have been, in reality, she was likely being more honest with me than most people would. She said "my biggest fear is that I won't be able to deliver on what is expected of me. There are a lot of people counting on me and I am not sure I can deliver". Wow!
Depending upon where you sit, you may say, "that was a really brave answer" or "that was not so smart, letting that cat out of the bag, doesn't do much to instill confidence in the troops, now does it"? Or does it?
When I think back to the interview I had with the female exec, I am impressed by her honesty, forthrightness and transparency. I'm not sure if I had been asked that same question at that same time, I would have given the same response in her shoes. It was during a time of "transformation" where there was high anxiety and uncertainty across the whole organization.
One thing I do question is this: Should the weight of the success of the team rest squarely on her shoulders? In hindsight, I would have asked her just that.
What I do know is this, to be the Leader your team needs you to be, showing up like you have perfect control every moment of every day is unrealistic. Can you open up your inner self to your team to say "I don't have all of the answers, but I am confident that together we will deliver, each of you brings value to the whole and the whole is who we are".
To instill confidence and draw the best from your team, requires great humility and strength of character. Consistent behaviour (what you see is what you get), coupled with an innate belief ythat empowering your tam to be creative, to share ideas (no idea is a bad idea) and building in that trust, is a strong start to buiding a high-performance team.
A high-performance team doesn't just "happen". It is developed over time through a strong bond of trust and ability to share leadership and ideas while being willing to take risks and fail safely. If you have led or been a part of a high-performance team, you will know that it is something very special that never happens by accident but through the strength and commitment of each member of the team.
When a leader is privileged enough to be a part of this amazing phenomenon, you wll quickly see that this leader is hard to pick out at first look. They give credit for any success back to the team and they help to leverage the strengths of each member of the team while encouraging creativity through group "think tanks" and developing a culture of connection that trusts and learns from one another.
There are many great books written on leadership and high-performance teams. While I won't do a reading list here (stay tuned for one), I will encourage you to do a little bit of inner work this week as well as some strong, mindful, reflection.
Who are the leaders ou have admired most over the course of your lifetime? Can you find 30 minutes this week to make a short list of the reasons why you have looked up to/admired these leaders and pick one reason that you can start to think about how you would work on that skill or competency?
Have you been a part of a team where the environment was truly one where people can thrive? What set it apart? How can you take your learnings from that experiene and start to build that in to your current team?
Message me or email me and let me know how you are doing with this. Looking forward to hearing from you!
Together we are building those inner strengths which can only make your teams stronger!!