As leaders it is our job to inspire greatness in the people we are responsible for leading. It’s not to manage them, micromanage them, or constantly follow up on them to make sure they are doing their jobs. While part of leadership is making sure our organizations operate efficiently with commitments honored timely and deliverables completed as agreed upon, the way in which those things get done happens through inspiring our teams. Not managing them.
If we have the RIGHT people doing the RIGHT things in our organizations and using their strengths, then it is simply our job to cast vision, remove obstacles and inspire greatness. It is when we have the wrong people on our teams and in our organizations that we run into trouble and beginning managing versus leading.
That is when the aspirations we have for having a great organization disappear into just making sure that we are maintaining the basic functions to operate. That is when we lose control of the culture and it is defined by a person or persons who don’t deserve to have a seat at the table and we become so busy cleaning up their messes that we never address the root cause of the problems.
If you find yourself in that place as a leader, I challenge you to take a hard look at your organization and make a plan to remove the low performers and replace them with top performers. Here’s what I know. You will attract what you have and if by chance a top performer slipped into the organization they will not stay long. Top performers don’t want to work with low performers, and if your organization is made up low performers they will leave. So invert the equation. Have so many top performers that if by some chance a low performer makes it into the organization (it happens to all of us) there is no way they will stick around.
Excellence in leadership happens when we inspire our best people, who know and use their strengths, and empower them to change their world. And that is a lot more fun than managing a bunch of mediocre people with a few great people sprinkled in.
If you truly want your organization to take the next step in its history, get in front of this issue. Don’t allow anyone in your organization who doesn’t represent your core values and won’t champion your culture. Spend the time on the front end to get the best people, train them well, inspire them, and empower them.
Change their world. Change your world. Change THE world.