I love helping leaders. And I’m blessed to be able to work with so many great leaders.
And it’s awesome to see leaders in so many areas of life – in the home, in the workplace and in the church. Here are three things every leader needs.
Most organizations know what they do. A few can articulate how they do it. But very few know WHY they do what they do.
That’s what Simon Sinek says in Start with Why. (one of my top five books for leaders, by the way)
This isn’t just a business principle – it’s something for every leader. Before you build a list of action steps or hire people or do anything at all – you need to come to grips with the purpose behind it all.
There’s a good chance you inherited your purpose – either from your parents, or from culture, or from the immediate need in front of you.
Before you do anything, you need to know WHY you’re doing it. Uncovering the true driving force will provide a lot of clarity on any decision. If you can take the time to clarify the WHY, the WHAT will become much more clear.
In addition to a clear purpose, you need people around you. You might be able to accomplish more than the average person, but without a great team around you, you will never be able to do all you were meant to do.
“Give a great idea to a mediocre team and they will mess it up. But give a mediocre idea to a great team, and they will pull it off or make it better,” writes Ed Catmull, the President of Pixar in Creativity, Inc.
Nearly every great accomplishment happened through a team. Take the light bulb, for example. You credit Thomas Edison for that invention, but he had a whole team of people working on that project.
Whenever you see someone win a prize, know there is probably a team equally deserving of praise.
One of your most important jobs as a leader is to build a team of people that is smarter than you.
On Sunday night, we huddle as a family to talk about the schedule. Between tests, chorus, baseball, tennis, lacrosse and two birthday parties, the week looked pretty full. Honestly, we were stressed before the week even got started.
Now every family has weeks like this from time to time, but this was becoming normal in our house. One day, we made an important realization.
Our schedule was driving our plans, not the other way around. We need to let OUR plan as parents dictate the kids schedule, not just accept everything as fact and go with the flow.
There’s nothing wrong with tennis, chorus or lacrosse (though I don’t fully understand the rules), but if those activities don’t help our family fulfill our purpose, they are distractions. All to often, we just accept things, refusing to understand we’re really in control.
Any knucklehead can set goals. It’s the hard work and the everyday step you take that sets you apart.
- I know a lot of people who want to be better parents. What’s your plan?
- I know a lot of people who want a better marriage. What’s your plan?
- I know a lot of people who want to get out of debt. What’s your plan?
It’s great to set goals, but what you need is a plan. They won’t appear out of thin air; they require intentional thought and focused discipline.