Getting It Wrong

Today is the second in a week-long series on leadership.  We’ll be examining some not so obvious issues facing leaders.

Think of yourself as a manager who has been called on to give a "state of the department" presentation to your group.  Maybe the group numbers at 50 or 10.  Regardless, you know you have to prepare.  And maybe that’s the problem.  Really.

I know you need to make sure you’ve got last quarters numbers or a concise view of where the market is heading.  But I want you to think about the following things that are infinitely more important:

  • Do you really know your people?  Their your audience, so you don’t want to be looking into the eyes of strangers.  It is essential that you know the pulse of the room.
  • Are you overly concerned about getting right?  You know what I mean.  Are you too concerned about the flow of the Power Point?  Are you thinking about the suit you’re going to wear more than once?
  • Do you know who the most important people are in your organization?  If you think it would be the CEO or COO, you would be wrong.  The most important people usually make a fraction of what a C-level executive does and don’t have a title that’s a mile long.
  • Do you really care or is this just another show?  Motivations reveal truth and measure how authentic you are.
  • Can you tell your people about a better future.  In other words, VISION.

In the end, preparation is important.  But if you’re not prepared in the right areas, you’ll be getting it wrong, while trying to get it right.  I’ve found this to be true over and over again in my calling. 

If you’re doing what you were born to do, all those details (Power Point, suit fabric, market conditions or how articulate you are) will come together.  The question is whether you will let it.