|PERMISSION TO REPUBLISH: This article may be republished in newsletters and on web sites provided attribution is provided to the author, and it appears with the included copyright, resource box and live web site link. Email notice of intent to publish is appreciated but not required: mail to: firstname.lastname@example.org|
Word count: 619
Summary: Most people fail in their careers because of leadership deficiencies. A key reason for their failure is they continually and unknowingly keep falling into two leadership traps. The author describes the traps and how to get out of them.
Two Leadership Traps: How To Avoid Them. How To Get Out Of them (Part 2)
by Brent Filson
Here's how to get out of, or avoid, the "I need ... " trap. It simply involves changing what you think and what you say in very simple ways.
In my working with leaders worldwide for more than two decades, I've noticed a character trait that the most successful share: They focus consistently on understanding and supporting the people whom they lead.
For instance, you could say, "You need ..." which is a good way out.
Or, you could say, "The team needs ... " which is a better way out.
Or, you could say, "Do you need? ..." Which is the best way out, especially with a question mark attached. A corollary to this question is, "What do you need from me to help you get the team to succeed?"
Asking a question rather than using a declarative is often more effective because it gets people reflecting upon their situation. After all, we can't motivate anyone to do anything. They have to motivate themselves. And they best motivate themselves when they reflect on their character and their situation.
A question can trigger such reflection and ultimately lead to their making the choice to be motivated to be your cause leader. You may not like the answer; but often their answer, no matter what it is, can better lead to more results being achieved than your declaration can.
Furthermore, asking questions like, "What do you need for the team to succeed? ..." works much better than saying "I need ... " because you are forging a "critical confluence" – the confluence of your or your organization's needs with their needs.
You may think I'm putting too fine a point on these changes; and to a degree, you'd be right. Making simply one change may not be important; but when you multiple the changes many times during the day, day in and day out, month in and month out, their aggregate can add up to tremendous change indeed. In fact, it can add up to job and career transformation.
So, the next time you are tempted to say, "I need ... ", don't. Instead, say, "Do you need? ..." or "What do you need? ... " Over time, you'll forge great changes in how people relate to you and your leadership, changes that will lead to substantial increases in results.
However, watch out: In getting out of the "I need ..." trap, you may find yourself in another trap. Asking "What do you need? ..." might play right into their hands of people who don't' trust you or want to sabotage your leadership or use you to further their own ends. Such people want to lead you down their private rabbit hole. They want to get you exploring things that have nothing to do with your getting the results you need and everything to do with satisfying the needs of their ego or whatever agenda they have. "Don't you think you need? ... " could be their ticket to ride. Before you ask the question, be aware of the ride and how to get off.
THE SECOND TRAP. The "You do ... " trap. Most leaders miss a great opportunity that presents itself to them daily. Since leadership is all about having people take action that gets results, it's important to understand the kind of action people should take to get the best results. You can ensure it is the best kind of action by challenging people not simply to do a job but to take leadership of that job. After all, there's a big difference between people doing and leading; and when you are constantly saying, "You do ... " you are missing out on getting a lot more results.
Now that you know how to avoid two leadership traps, you'll find that your career will be boosted in many marvelous ways.
2005 © The Filson Leadership Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
About the Author
The author of 23 books, Brent Filson's recent books are, THE LEADERSHIP TALK: THE GREATEST LEADERSHIP TOOL and 101 WAYS TO GIVE GREAT LEADERSHIP TALKS. He has been helping leaders of top companies worldwide get audacious results. Sign up for his free leadership e-zine and get a free white paper: "49 Ways To Turn Action Into Results," at http://www.actionleadership.com
Perfect to the Penny
At some point in our careers, we may find ourselves part of an obsolete operation, such as a downsizing, business insolvency, or even a single retail store closing. This can be a time of positive reflection for us, if we “step back” and ponder the...
Cheap Interior Design Ideas
Cheap interior design ideas come in many forms these days. From television shows to magazines, the industry is trying to teach the consumer how to design cheap. In the past, ideas such as cheap design shows would have left most interior designers...
Becoming a Star Performer in your Career
So what's the difference between a star performer who can name his/her salary and get whatever job he wants, and someone who can't? Very successful people tend to put a lot of effort into improving themselves. Coach Dean Smith of the University of...
Using Voicemail to Make a Great First Impression with Recruiters
Job seekers know there is more to a job search than want ads and e-mails. But when it comes time to make that phone call, are you really prepared? You might think leaving a message isn’t a big deal, but it really is. Look at it this way; first...
Searching For An Executive Job
A job search for executives is far less complicated today than it has been in the past. Anyone who is looking for an executive job can simply look to the Internet where there are hundreds of employment websites, with many specifically geared towards...