After asking the first question of Where Are We Going?, the second question soon follows… Why Are We Going There?
This is the reason, the validation for the answer to the question of Where. Why is this direction important? I have found three questions aid me in thinking about this.
You’ve probably heard the one about the airline pilot who tells his passengers that he has some good news/bad news for them midway through their flight.
He starts with the bad news which he states by saying, “We are completely lost.” He then reassures them by saying, “The good news, however, is that we are making great time.”
I was reading in the book of Judges about a military leader named Gideon. He and his men had routed an enemy army the night before and were subsequently pursuing the remnant who had fled.
As I reflected on this incident, it prompted some thoughts on leadership in the midst of a pursuit. I found it has application for us as leaders today.
Motivating is really about helping people with the want to. The desire that leads to action. Desire alone is not sufficient.
Proverbs mentions that “the soul of the sluggard craves but gets nothing.” True motivation is the desire that
External motivations such as rewards or consequences have an affect on us all and can never be discounted. However, more intrinsic, internal ones are taking on added importance, especially with the generation of younger leaders.
I was talking to a missionary couple who had been working in bible translation with a group of people sociologists tagged as the most primitive tribe in Central America.
Everyone you lead has a set of internal questions that they need answered. Whether they are cognizant of them or not, they are there and are being asked. If you don’t answer them accordingly, it will impact negatively your leadership of them.
One of the most common mistakes leaders make is the error of assumption. Communicating in such a way that both parties clearly understand is difficult under the best of circumstances.
I’ve never met a leader who would say that he or she didn’t care for those they led. Yet, the lack of care is the number one complaint among those being led of their leaders. Why the disparity?
The problem stems from the difficulty in turning heartfelt intentions into demonstrable actions.
Aligning is all about together. It’s making adjustment according to a line. I like the way Dr. Henry Cloud describes it as “getting everyone and everything moving in the same direction” and I would add “within the same boundaries.”
That is, to be together in line with the direction set. This is not an easy task to accomplish.
Americans spend billions of dollars each year on leadership development. Walk into any bookstore, surf the web, or participate in any number of seminars available at your work, and you’ll see what I mean that the opportunities to be developed are endless.
And yet look at the results. Where are the leaders? Where are the different kind of leader from the ones we see in the headlines every day or we work with daily? Why is there not a better return on investment?
I remember a TV commercial years ago showing a person who bought a huge riding lawn mower for his postage stamp yard. He could barely turn it around without running over the shrubbery.
The point? That what many companies sell you is not what you need but only what they have.