Leading

I sat at my desk, a newbie who knew next to nothing, in a new job that I have no experience with. I just finished training which consisted of the owner of the firm trying to communicate a bunch of things to three of us without context there is beyond boring. No opportunities to ask questions. A real snooze fest.

He then handed us over to one of the senior people in the firm to boss us around. I was trying but didn’t know what I was doing. After all, this is my second day in a new job in a new career. I can even say that I hated it. I was shellshocked and left at my desk to figure it out.

Eventually, some of the experienced people showed pity upon me and start to teach me how they looked at things. That was the leadership I was hoping for when I took this job. Some mentorship, some advice, some coaching. Not being bossed around like I was a machine.

Who are the people who made a difference in your career?

What was it about them that stood out to you?

For me, and for many others, it is about caring enough to engage and develop a relationship where, through the connection we have, I take on certain attributes from them and they for me.

Like with my old friend, Craig, who was so dissimilar from who I was who yet had an artist’s way of looking at the world which began the process of opening me up to real connections with people.

Often, leading is the process of taking someone into your confidence and they, into yours.

Too often, people communicate through language that obscures the humanity.

“Agile leadership” refers to someone who can adapt to rapid change. Why not just say that?

“Business transformation” means changing how we do things here.

There is a wonderful Dilbert cartoon where the pointy-haired boss says, “Our differentiating value-added strategy is transformational change.” He then asks, “How was that? Does anyone feel different?” Alice answers, “my urge to hurl has increased slightly.” To which he replies, “That’s what change feels like.”

Leading is about connecting, not clearing the task list.

Clearing the task list is managing.

If you want to lead, people need to move ahead in your list of priorities to the very top. That’s what has always changed things for me. I suspect for you, too.

Ⓒ The Big Game Hunter, Inc., Asheville, NC 2020

ABOUT JEFF ALTMAN, THE BIG GAME HUNTER

Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter
Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter

Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter is a career and leadership coach who worked as a recruiter for more than 40 years. He is the host of “No BS Job Search Advice Radio,” the #1 podcast in iTunes for job search with more than 1900 episodes, Career Angles | Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunterand is a member of The Forbes Coaches Council.

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