Have you ever experienced the idea of the month club Leader?
Either we have experienced it or been the person. The idea of the month club leader is a leader who reads a new book, article, hears an idea or concept and says..”Oh, we have to do that without really thinking it through!”
Being a young leader working my way up the ranks I gobbled up every book I could get my hands on. Why? Because I took over a fledgling sales area and I was willing to find every nugget to help my team grow, almost to the point of desperation. I was looking for that silver bullet. But unfortunately, no matter how many books I read we weren’t experiencing the growth I had hoped for. It wasn’t until one of my bosses said to me, “ Do you know the reason you aren’t growing?” I had a few responses brewing in my head to that question.
“It’s because you read too much”… At first I didn’t understand what he meant. I readtoo much. How can that be? This is how you grow as leader. Leaders are readers.
“I listen to your team meetings and I can always tell when you read a new instructional book. Don’t get me wrong reading is important. You have to read to stay sharp and stay ahead of the curve. However, it doesn’t mean every time a new idea or concepts resonates with you that you have to change everything you are doing. You have to ask yourself, how this concept applies to the processes already in place? Sometimes introduction of new concepts monthly can actually hurt your team? People want to experience unity at work. If your team experiences harmony, you will have growth. No unity equals no harmony which in the end equals no growth.
Like I said I was frustrated by him pointing this out. It just so happened at this time I was also reading Coach Wooden’s Pyramid of Success. Coach Wooden speaks about Intentness. He explains that Intentness is where you set a realistic goal. Concentrate on its achievement by resisting all temptations and being determined and persistent. Not bad advice from a coach who won 11 NCAA Men’s basketball championships.
My boss maybe onto something. I meant well, but because I wanted so much to help my team achieve better results, I was actually hurting them by constantly introducing new concepts. If I wanted to be a better leader I came to the conclusion not only do I have to work with a disciplined intention. I must lead with a disciplined intent. Concentrate by resisting all temptations and being determined and persistent.
What’s interesting about it, it wasn’t 50 things I concentrated on it was 5 must do’s.
Everything grew because of this Intentness. Our sales numbers grew nearly $400,000 per year 4 years straight!! I learned when we are a leader of a team, we must be on the same page with our team mates. Sticking to the key success elements also reinforces our leadership, our leadership style, and our expectations for our team. This adds to the cohesiveness of our team and expands all of our expectations.
Through it all not only did our sales performance increase, stress levels decreased, the team culture improved, customer retention went up, and we experienced tremendous unity throughout the team and it boiled down to 4 simple questions I asked myself.
- What is the desired end result?-What did I and the team want accomplish in the end?
- Why is it important? What would it mean to accomplish it? What would it mean if I/we didn’t accomplish it?
- What are the 5 musts to get the end result desired? That no matter what these 5 musts had to be done every week. Make sure your teams understands what the critical musts are and how important it is to execute them every day. You yourself have to apply pig headed determination and discipline to these 5 musts. At the end of the week I then inspected, reflected and redirected on how I did on my 5 musts and how I could build on my success week to week.
- Is it sustainable? How does it fit in to accomplishing my end result? This was done before introducing any new idea to my team.
John Wooden said, “ Success is peace of mind which is a direct result of self-satisfaction in knowing that you did your best to become the best that you are capable of becoming.” Becoming the best means to me being intentional, committed, consistent and disciplined in all that you do. And keeping it simple.
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