"The criticism came from some of the most senior members of the organization. It was alarming at first. It was as if they had lost confidence in me. I quickly realized however, that the teasing was actually an attempt to cover how woefully behind and out of touch those accomplished leaders were. In the end, it was pathetic and sad...for them."
Opportunities and Threats
Why is it that "new" often equates with "threatening?" Why do some leaders leap at the opportunity to be part of something dramatic, while others are so averse to anything that hints at progress?
I believe that for some leaders who have achieved a measure of success, they simply can not fathom the thought of pushing themselves even harder in their new roles. It's as if the energy they expended to get to their current role has all but tapped them out.
Except...a new level of effort is required at every stage of our careers.
Every. Single. One.
So when new concepts, technologies, tools or business conditions descend upon these leaders they often stumble. They become indecisive and cling to power, as if their sphere of influence is the core business.
That is a flawed way of thinking.
When you step up...take risks...and push your organization (and it's results) forward, the criticism often flows in one direction.
The naysayers are usually so focused on themselves, and perhaps feel threatened that you are separating yourself from the legions of other bobblehead leaders, that you become a target.
Think about the leaders in your life who stand out above the rest. The ones you would follow in a heartbeat to a new company. Were they obsessed with themselves; or, did it feel like they had a higher calling in their leadership style?
Don't let your job title lead you into believing that you are more important than the team.
Don't let your authority mislead you into thinking you are entitled to something.
And for God's sake, remember that every person matters. You're not the special one.
You're really not...
...and neither am I.
How About You
As you begin another one of the thousands of days you will be someones leader, consider the incredible privilege you have before you. Take advantage of the opportunity, lift up your team, keep your mind wide open, and commit to being different than all the rest.
It will be worth it.
I'd love to hear from you.