Today something struck me that is so obvious and underutilized I thought I would share. Get face to face with people! Get off email! Get off the phone! Get face to face! Why? I think it exponentially increases your chances of accomplishing whatever you need to accomplish in a shorter amount of time.
Today a colleague of mine, Craig, stopped by to talk with me about a marketing issue we were having with his program. He showed up. He came and talked with me face to face. We had a different opinion about a marketing strategy and we talked about it. Face to face. Craig showed me he cared by showing up. He engaged me in a positive way. In the end? I changed my mind. Craig is a master of personal diplomacy and making sure he gets results.
Would an angry email from Craig have helped me see his position? No. I would have naturally entrenched my opinion and been less likely to change. It is not complicated, get in front of people, build a relationship, figure things out. Try it, it works.
Wow, time flies by and I have not written in months. Since I last spoke to you all who read this blog I have started another master’s program in Organizational Leadership, am coaching volleyball at Bethel University and generally doing my other job in admissions. So, I am busy!
The class I am in right now is all about followership. Followership is something I have not given much thought to as I always think about leadership. During this class I have been able to think about how to be a better follower and support the leaders that I work with and for.
How do you be a good follower? Be a partner. Be someone who speaks up but then accepts the decision once it is made. Work hard. Show up. Have a spirit that does not complain. Such good challenges for myself, and maybe for you too?
I need to start getting back on this blog again. Academic writing is a different skill and it is fun to be back in that world, but I do enjoy this forum.
Do you take time to enjoy life? It seems like so many people I meet are constantly working and never disconnect. Look, I am guilty of this infraction from time to time myself, but also want to make sure I take some time to enjoy life along the way.
It is a both/and equation here. It is not a one or the other proposition, it takes both. Go hard for a time, and then rest, relax and come back charged up. Especially if you are in some sort of leadership position this is essential because the people you work with or lead will look at the example you set.
Do you constantly feel like you are at your end and you could burn out at anytime? Those extra 10 hours at work are probably not going to help your cause.
Do you feel like if you don’t do something no one else will? That is usually not true unless you are a one person show. Also, if you do buy into this it means you may not be much of a collaborator something that is essential if you want to achieve exponential results.
I am passionate about building teams where people are not free agents but rather empowered teammates who nail their own responsibilities and help out their teammates along the way. Everyone must understand their roles, relationships, responsibilities or they will not achieve any meaningful results. This “4 R” model of leadership I learned from Dr. Mark McCloskey and Dr. Justin Irving in my masters program. It is simple and it works every time.
But I digress. Work hard, play hard. Do both or someday you will end up at the end of your career wondering why you did not take time to enjoy things that you are passionate about.
Do you do this? What do you do that you are passionate about?
During the past few weeks I accepted a new role at my current employer, Bethel University, to take on a bigger role with regards to admissions and recruitment. It is a very exciting development for me, and I am so grateful to my supervisors who believed in me enough to offer me an increased role. I am also so thankful to my amazing team that I have worked with the past few years and will continue to work with in this new role. This decision puts me on a new path, with new responsibilities and just a lot of new. So how did I make this major life choice to accept this new role? How might my thought pattern help when you have a big decision to make now, or in the future? Here are five thoughts.
1) Once I knew I had a decision to make, I had a few days to process the decision. My wife and I spent time trying to play devil’s advocate to saying yes to the new role and trying to poke holes in what looked like a great opportunity. Always look at both sides of a decision – even with things that seem fantastic.
2) As I have said before: Make sure you are making the decision when emotion is not the primary factor in your decision making. I let this question sink in for a few days and did not commit to anything before I had time to sleep on the decision for multiple nights. Each morning I would wake up and gauge where I was feeling on the decision and it became more clear each day that I would say yes. I think gut decisions are great, but it also is important to put logic into the situation without emotion as well – if you have the time to do it.
3) Ask people who know you what they think you should do. I have a number of wise friends including my wife who I ask what to do based on my situation. If you have the luxury to ask them, do it. They will give you perspective you might not see yourself. Another blog post could be on why you should have friends who disagree with you and are not totally like you – this will help if you are not surrounded by a bunch of yes people.
4) If you are a person of faith, you may want to have some dialogue (read prayer) with your higher power. This for me is a calming activity that helps me see things more clear and understand what my gut is saying. If you are not a person of faith, skip this step.
5) Once you choose, stick with your decision. Let your “Yes” be a “Yes” and your “No” be a “No.” This is very important – the reason I go through these steps is that I want to be 100% committed to whatever I commit to. People will appreciate it if you are not flakey once you decide.
I am so happy for this next chapter to start in my career. So many people have helped me get to where I am now, I have spent time thanking them over the last few weeks. When I get back from a vacation to start my new role, it will be an exciting time of change and adjustment. Thanks to all of you who read this blog, it is fun to go through life with all of you as well.
I finally made the jump and claimed my name as a website, and figured out how to load wordpress onto my domain. They really make it so easy now even I could do it. I look forward to this new format, and having you along with me from time to time. Welcome!