Aside

Holding The Vision

My team sometimes says to me that I change my mind a lot, and that makes me an “inconsistent leader” who is “hard to follow”. (truth be told, they tell my coaches who then tell me.) The issue being that they think I am not clear enough, unequivocable about things, or consistently confident etc.
In fact, it’s just the opposite.
I absolutely, positively believe in the future of success for the firm and for these talented people to contribute to our clients and to the industry. Sometimes, in ways we cannot yet imagine. Ways that will change the caliber of conversations in the the most powerful corporations in America. Ways that’ll change the power of everyone in the company to be good strategists. Ways that create more value, and better value for companies we assist. These are things I never stop believing in.
Yet we’re not there. We’re sometimes a little or way off course. We have failed due to ideas, execution, or a lack of motivation by any given team member. And I talk about that; I might even harp on things that need to be changed for the better. I’ll point it out, I’ll flag it, and I’ll practically send in the cavalry to fix it.
But for me this is completely congruent to the larger picture. The larger picture is about the vision and mission. The “how” of what we do each day to accomplish that (or not) is what I’m commenting on to get the actions/ behaviors / direction to be aligned to the larger vision. So even when I see that things are not working, I am determined to lead that part of the solution to get it back on track.
These two ideas are actually part of a larger whole. We will help our clients and colleagues to win markets, and each and every day, well learn how to do that better. I’m confident of that. I won’t know the how and what of any particular year or activity. I’ll get it wrong. Sometimes a lot wrong. But I believe and that’s actually what makes me a good leader. Now I need them to get that this is actually more consistent than the guy who sits up there and never reveals the “inconsistent behaviors” that won’t help the organization achieve success.
Next time your team says something like this to you, use this logic. Let me know how it goes.

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