Challenges for Leaders Today
Leadership has and always will be a challenge. It isn't about understanding what leadership is - it's all about how we do it. Leadership isn't what it was 5 or even 10 years ago. So here are a few things that I see trending right now.
A leader must lead without letting anyone know that they are leading.
I know, it doesn't make any sense, but follow along. People want leaders in their lives. Someone to give them direction and vision. However, if a leader is looking for praise and recognition for what they do - they will be rejected as arrogant and prideful. If a leader "demands" anything of them - they will reject the leader as a dictator type. People are so insecure today that they really don't trust leadership. It's no wonder considering that media paints most leaders as incompetent, cheating, lying bunch of thieves. Try this instead - lead from the herd. Don't get to far ahead, but don't let the herd get ahead of you. The closer they are to you - to more likely they will follow.
Speak clearly and often
Communication is a BIG key. There is nothing new about that - but what is new is how you have to do it. In college we use to have a professor who would make the announcements in chapel. We called him Mr. Pacman. You know the game. All Pac man says is "Wach - wach - wach - wach....." The man could go on for 15 minutes saying the same thing over and over and over again. Today, you have to say the same thing over and over again - except you say it in person, write it in an email, then send it in a text, put it on a DVD or YouTube video, put into a podcast and then do it again. Be clear and say it often. Ask people if they understood what you said and keep saying what you need to say.
The conversation is more important than the information.
This has nothing to do with talking - even though you will. If there is no connection, you will never be heard. But this problem runs both ways. First of all you have to reach out and make a PERSONAL connection. Professional - Acquaintance - Informal and Casual isn't going to cut it. You have to connect at a social level - a media level and at a personal level. Now here is where I get irritated with some leaders. I'm not going to get a face book, I'm not going to text, I'm going to go over to their house, I'm not going to be that transparent. Ok - then let's do a quick visual lesson. When it gets dark outside reach over and unplug the lamp. In the dark now? Now you know how it feels to be disconnected.