Tuesday’s thoughts after reading the book:
In pursuit of Excellence.
How to win in sport and life through mental training.
By Terry Orlick PhD
How I found these thoughts from this book I am not sure.
Leaders and followers. We all fall into these 2 categories at a time in life.
We sometimes follow as that is where life is.
I question leadership and its meaning and what it means to be a leader in society, business, the military, Government and sport etc etc.
Why? Because I have found myself in leadership roles a few times. I choose to learn so I can create a dynamic that functions to create high performance.
The Dictionary states:
the action of leading a group of people or an organization.“different styles of leadership”Similar:guidancedirectionauthoritycontrolmanagementsuperintendencesupervisionorganizationgovernmentorchestrationinitiativeinfluence
the state or position of being a leader.“the party prospered under his leadership”Similar:headshipdirectorshipdirectiongovernorshipgovernanceadministrationjurisdictioncaptaincysuperintendencycontrolascendancyrulecommandpowermasterydominationdominionpremiershipsovereignty
the leaders of an organization, country, etc.plural noun: leaderships“The leadership was divided into two camps”
I deem myself very lucky as I saw leadership in action both good and not so good in the military. Train the strengths and weaknesses of a team. Understand who in that team excels at something. Get them to par on their weaknesses and train them to BE exemplary at their strengths. Build the team around individual characteristics and point the team in one direction. Together working as a unit to the outcome.
Is business leadership similar?
Is sports leadership similar?
Yes in my mind it is. One direction. One outcome. Understand the dynamics of the team you have.
Understand them in terms of what they bring to the team. However, also understand life outside the sport or business.
Understanding what the individual has happening in the background helps the individual, helps the man manager and the leader to steer the ship. Some people have a world of pain in life and some simply do not.
Everyone has individual differences. We are all at different phases in life. We all have different responsibilities, motivations and values. The leader must grasp the individual influences to positively affect them and the team’s outcome.
Personality styles are all so wildly different. Blending the team to function, understanding the part they play, the piece of the puzzle they own, how they affect others and how they can help others in tasks to affect the wider team is critical.
A leader must be mindful of what an individual is giving for the cause as well. Is the individual going above and beyond the ‘normal’ and doing something different for the cause?
How does the ‘different’ affect them? How does ‘the part’ the individual is playing affect their work-life balance? A business owner invariably chooses a lack of work-life balance. An employee could be doing something different for a financial outcome perhaps but is this person recognised for the commitment to the cause?
Rarely do we find a leader that is mindful enough to recognize the team dynamics and maybe what an individual is ‘giving up’ to fundamentally create someone else’s dream when they are swapping time for money every month.
The leader understands the dynamics of the team. Praise where praise is due, being firm where firm is due, but also recognising the commitment or sacrifices individuals are making.
This recognition of sacrifice for the greater good sets the ‘leader’ apart from other man managers.
Individuals really just need to feel that the leadership are aware of the sacrifice. If the leader recognises upfront what the person is giving up for the greater cause the dynamic shifts.
It shifts from a form of resentment to respect. This boss of mine is mindful of the situation. Mindful of the sacrifice. Whatever that sacrifice is.
This moment can empower an individual and create a sense that what they are giving up on is worth the effort.
Words and actions can quickly demotivate, especially if the team is not ‘together’ and feels the leadership is unaware. Being mindful of how words are used is tough.
Leadership is tough. Individual differences across people are so vast. What works for one does not work for another. Not every individual makes it in a team. Being honest and guiding the individual to improve. Some fall by the wayside as they are just not ready or the role is not them.
Being a leader takes thought, reflection and communication. Congruence. Understanding. Or an attempt at it.
Be a leader and take the time to actually reflect on the individuals in your team. People are the part of the cog that simply makes a business run. Everyone is expendable. Everyone can be replaced. Sometimes with better skills and sometimes with lesser skills. However, the cost to re-hire, and train can be detrimental to the team’s performance. However, a weak link is a weak link and the team will demonstrate their feelings if you understand the individual team members patterns.
I have always endeavoured to be aware and communicate. I do not always get it right but I honestly believe I am further down the respect line and my teams will walk with me into the pain if I ask them to. They have before with banter, laughing and actions. I will clean the sink, empty the bins and make those tough calls with them. In life, I would never expect someone to do something I am not prepared to do myself.
Time is free to an employer. People are the lifeblood. The leaders must develop the individuals to be the business or develop them so they can step outside with a pat on the back and be better in the next phase of their life.
Thoughts? Am I miles away from the point of leadership?
I am here to learn every day.
No one cares, remember that, so be the better human that people reflect on and think he gave a shit.