A good way to start the week is by contemplating on what we are set to achieve in the next 7 days. Conventional wisdom suggests it is best to focus on the positives and visualise the outcome we desire, much like that long drive in Golf, when we can picture the ball landing on the green after a perfect lift through the air. But as in Golf, so at work and life, it is smart to be mindful of the hazards that lie on the way. Anticipating potential obstacles are traits of achievers.
As leaders our only job is to help our teams succeed. In doing so, we empower them and also provide guidance and coaching. But, we largely leave them to fight their own battles. Surely, that is the recipe for personal growth and hardened by these struggles emerge the leaders of the future.
But, do we pay attention to the obstructions that our colleagues may face on the way that may derail them from attaining the desired goal? That is a huge ‘value-addition’ that, leaders can make from their position of power and influence. Besides, often leaders have visibility of road blocks from their higher altitude view of the organisation, which their juniors do not have the benefit of. That is in addition to the maturity and intuition that leaders develop over time to have a sixth sense of undercurrents in the system.
The first step would be to sensitise the team of the resistance or challenges they may encounter in carrying forward the agenda. But, in a more hostile or political environment — leaders can be instrumental in creating a conducive environment by some proactive intervention at the right pressure points.
A friend calls it “shuttle diplomacy”. Often, a simple phone-call, a walk down the corridor, a coffee or lunch date, work wonders in dissolving barriers and breaking boundaries that clear the pitch for the troops to conquer.
Inspiring leaders in all fields set aside for it as it has an exponential multiplier effect on the efforts of their people.
When the ultimate goal is to make teams win — leaders must focus on areas they can contribute the most.
Try some “shuttle diplomacy” this week.