“Knowledge is power”
“One to grow on”
“The more you know”
From Francis Bacon to public service announcements, knowing things has always seemed like the secret to success for me. As a student, I had wonderful teachers. When I first entered the workforce, I noticed that my bosses who had everything under control also had an easy confidence – they knew everything about their business. During my time in the military, the NCOs and officers whom I admired always had the right answer to whatever it was we were doing. These were the kinds of leaders who left a mark on me.
That must be it. Knowledge is the key. Want to be a great leader, in whatever you’re doing? It’s all about knowing things.
It’s been a while. I haven’t posted lately. The podcast I co-host has just wrapped its 4th season. (We talk A LOT!!) But my lack of content here doesn’t mean I’m not thinking about the topics that keep popping up in this blog.
Like Diversity, Inclusion (and now, adding Equity to that list!) and how those topics will destroy the world. Except, of course, they won’t.
Over the last two months, I was privileged to create and deliver a seminar called “Survive – and THRIVE! – Through Change” to my organization’s front line leaders. It was well-received and confirmed to me that there’s something for me to build on as I start expanding from writing to speaking. Delivering my program – I was the actualized Todd.
In the program, I used lessons learned during my time as a Military Working Dog Handler in the Air Force to explore some factors that drive effectiveness in moving through change for people, teams, and organizations. I’m building on this concept to create a larger program focusing on the foundations of effective leadership. I’ve named it “Leadership From The End Of The Leash”. Today I want to share one concept from that program:
I started this blog a few years ago to explore the creativity that I’d been afraid to exercise. I’m happy with the results. I didn’t realize how important it was to my psyche to flex these creative muscles. Writing makes me happy in a profound way. Unfortunately, I’ve also realized that NOT writing for a period of time makes me very unhappy. (The Queen has got it figured out. I know that I’m not fun to be around when she asks me if I need to leave the house for an hour and go write.)
Leaders are human. (Obvious, I know. Stick with me. We’ll get through this!) As such, they make mistakes. (Wait, where are you going? OK, let’s move this along…)
Let’s assume that leaders can make small-m-mistakes or big-M-Mistakes. If you’re new in a leadership role or aspiring to one, you’ll want to keep your inevitable missteps to the shallow end of the pool. Not, as one company has recently done, take a screaming Triple Lindy off the highest platform into the deep end. Operating within a clearly defined ethical system may help you stay on the right side of the floating pool line.
Which side of the line are you on?