At a company retreat this month, I discovered a big problem my team's been struggling with.
More specifically, my team's been struggling with the way I have been prioritizing the needs of our clients ahead of the team's needs. Once I understood the issue it was smack-the-head obvious what I had been doing. Yet up to that moment I had managed to distract myself by focusing on how important our work is for clients, and in turn how important our clients are to the success and longevity of Trebuchet Group. I had deluded myself that I was doing the right thing for the team by honoring my clients more than I was honoring the team.
Luckily my team was able and willing to provide much needed feedback to help me see the light.
Too much doing, not enough leading
"Chris, you're a fantastic consultant helping our clients...and we need more of you as CEO and leader."
"Chris, your work is bringing in much needed income...and without your help we can't grow the business past you."
I'm reminded of an old commercial for aftershave where the subject would get slapped in the face yet would respond with "Thanks...I needed that."
I did say thanks, even though it stung a bit. And I did need it.
It's "cobblers kids don't have shoes" ironic that I, mentor to CEOs, get feedback from my team about investing too much energy in results and not enough in being a leader. The good news is that I've seen this before - many times - with leaders I help every day. And I have my own leadership mentor and business coach to lean on as I get back on track and lead my company the way it needs and deserves to be led.
This all just reinforces to me how universal the challenge is of knowing how you show up as a leader. No matter if your organization is large or fairly small, you are likely feeling pressure to be both the leader and a doer - and it's just tough to do both. So here are two ways you can make sure you know how you're helping your team.
Actions you can take today
- Set aside 10 minutes to discern how you're showing up with your team. Ask yourself: Are you more concerned with results you can achieve personally, or with the results you and your team can achieve together? Are you enabling the team to win, or trying to win for them? Bonus points if you can get confirmation from a trusted agent who tells you what you appear to be focusing on.
- Pick one area where you're not showing up as you like. Select one small thing you want to change, and make it happen. Note the impact on you and your team. Bonus points if you find people paying attention to you a little differently than before. Extra bonus points if you make another change.
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To learn more about services we provide to help leaders succeed, visit the Trebuchet Group website or give us a call at 970.672.4749.