LEADER’S FIELD GUIDE
Imagine being in a luxurious hotel lobby primed for a special weekend, champagne and tapas on hand for sampling. Live piano music and chair massages available to guests just arriving to check in. Anticipation of the upcoming banquet is growing, and so is the commotion around the massage chair.
In fact, frustrated guests, confused by who was next in line at the massage chair, started to circle the massage chair like sharks. I only noticed because, I (self-proclaimed leader extraordinaire and efficiency expert) was trying to relax in the afore mentioned chair. When the second person asked to place a name on the nonexistent sign-up sheet, it took all of my willpower not to jump out of the chair and get everything organized! But, this was not my place or time to lead.
Have you ever been tempted to take control and resolve a situation when it wasn’t yours to take? It is only natural for leaders. In fact, my own Secret Code of Leadership clearly states that “in a vacuum of strong leadership, an eligible leader will experience an irresistible urge to fill the vacuum with stronger leadership”.
But, many of us missed the fine print which warns leaders to first consider the following:
- Remain Silent: Sometimes the individuals involved need more experience or hands-on learning opportunities. It is tempting to step in too early when we know we could do a better job or a painful lesson is on the horizon for the less experienced leader. But, we are not doing them any favors by stunting their learning curve.
- Provide Support: Sometimes your role is behind the scenes as mentor or coach. Offering guidance to an eager individual can actually be more rewarding than being out in front. It also allows a new leader to be perceived as THE leader rather confusing teams with more than one person ‘in charge’ or making decisions.
- Demonstrate Patience: Sometimes it is more about your patience with others and tolerance for inefficiency than about leadership. Today’s society elevates leaders who drive toward the bottom line or manage results with extreme effectiveness, but this is not always congruent with sincere compassion and encouragement.
- Move On: Sometimes it isn’t any of your business or you might, MIGHT be wrong about what is needed. As observers, we don’t always have all the information about past events or future goals. It is important for us to answer the question, “Is this the time or place for my involvement?” After all, refraining or exercising self-control is part of leadership too: self-leadership.
During my five minute chair massage, I had ample time to consider all four points of the fine print mentioned above. Ultimately, I know the masseuse now understands the importance of the sign-up sheet and won’t forget it next time. I know her manager, who received many complaints, will have the opportunity to coach her on fixing small problems before they escalate. I know, as an individual, I am still working on tolerance for those ‘in training’ AND relaxing my neck and shoulder muscles. Finally, I know it was really none of my business, but it made for a great test of my resolve!
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Michelle Sugerman (PMP, PCC) is a speaker, author, and leadership coach with Leading Synergies. She hosts global masterminds, called Synergy Groups, for REALLY BUSY Christians leading with powerful confidence and humble hearts. She works with high-performing leaders focused on organizational effectiveness by refining strategy, inspiring teams, and delighting clients. Michelle specializes in the areas of information technology, project management, franchise management, and business as mission. Michelle lives in Colorado where she hikes fourteeners and enjoys gourmet meals with her loving husband of 22 years.