When I was reassigned from USS Olympia to USS Santa Fe, I knew I needed a totally different leadership approach. Many leaders talk about getting the right people on board. I didn’t have any control over that variable. I had the people I had. This was a powerful constraint that allowed me to focus all my effort on creating an environment where the people I had could be their best.
What’s your level of commitment? I discovered that the hardest thing about my planned turnaround project was my own fortitude. In order to maintain my commitment I had to adopt the idea of care but don’t care. Care deeply, passionately, intensely about my team and our mission; care not a lick about the bureaucratic consequences to myself.
I can’t tell you how many times I questioned whether or not I was on the right track and whether or not I should just go back to “command and control.” At the time, no one knew if we were going to be successful. No one knew the impact of what we’d achieve 10 years hence. We just had faith that treating everyone better, like leaders, would work out in the long run.
My leadership nudge to you this week is this:
Treat everyone on your team better. Treat them like leaders. Have faith that in the long run, you’ll develop leaders.
And remember, it’s ok to laugh at yourself every now and then when things don’t go as planned.
Let us know how it goes.