3 Ways to Lead Positive in an Anxious, Short-Sighted World
Last week, I shared with you that Ed Friedman’s book, Generation to Generation, set my positive direction years ago. I discovered four great leadership truths from him. The first one we talked about is that great leaders have “a capacity to separate themselves from the anxiety around them.”
The second is that great leaders have “a commitment to goals beyond the horizons that everyone else saw.”
The anxious world drives leaders to short-sighted behavior in search of quick patch jobs to difficult challenges. How do you avoid such?
Here are 3 Ways to Lead Positive in an Anxious, Short-Sighted World:
“Commitment to goals” requires you to first look within. Commitment is internal; a motivation that drives you to lead by certain core values and priorities regardless of the insanity of the world around you.
Think of your core values as your “Why?” and your priorities as your “What?” They anchor you regardless of the business climate. They emerge as commitment to goals—both personal and organizational. Such goals are the action plan expression of your “Why?” and “What?”
Look within and find your commitment to goals and lead from this internal strength.
Look Way Out
Anchored securely with your commitment to goals in mind, you Lead Positive next by looking way out, as Friedman puts it, “beyond the horizons.”
Anxiety at work pushes our heads to droop and our eyes to drop. We look down in a short-sighted attempt to find something we can control. It’s the classic “forest and trees” paradigm.
Positive leaders look up out of the status quo—literally “what a mess we’re in”—and scan the horizons for what’s approaching, to determine the corporate course headings, and set sail with commitment for the achievement of the next goal.
Look way out and Lead Positive up and out of the short-sighted that anxiety sees. Positive leaders are vision-focused.
Please understand that as you look within and look way out, you are going to look weird to others. Or, as Friedman puts it, “everyone else” sees something different so when you find your internal commitment to goals and cast a long-sighted vision, what you see and articulate is a stark contrast to mass thinking. Of course, it’s such mass thinking that oozes anxiety which results in short-sighted behavior and creates our current mess.
Know going in to Lead Positive that you’ll get lots of side glances, quizzical expressions, and whispers as you enter and exit rooms. Just accept it as proof-positive that your commitment-to-goals-beyond-the-horizons leadership is working positive!