Leadership Lessons I’m thankful for….
by Jenni Catron
The longer I lead the more I realize that there are times in our leadership journey when we have to make critical perspective shifts to think differently and therefore lead differently. These moments are often hard to identify because we don’t know what we don’t know. That’s why they’re called blind spots. The longer we have these blind spots the more limited our leadership becomes.
That’s why I’m thankful for other leaders in my life who have been willing to identify these blind spots and expand my perspective.
One particular perspective shift that comes to mind is when a leader that I served with coached me on the need to chase momentum rather than fixate on problems. This thought was so counterintuitive to me. One of my strengths is identifying problems and creating plans to overcome them. This gifting has served me well but the more my leadership influence grew the more problems that mounted and the more I was figuratively chasing my tail rather than moving us forward.
My leader’s challenge to chase momentum first was not permission to ignore problems. It was simply a challenge to shift my perspective. I needed to recognize that my greatest attention needed to be given to where we were experiencing momentum as an organization. How could I provide more resources and support for the things that were working? How could I coach and encourage my staff who were leading initiatives that were experiencing momentum?
Momentum is an extraordinary gift.
One of our responsibilities as leaders is to protect and propel momentum because building momentum or regaining momentum once it is lost is disproportionately more difficult.
As leaders, there are problems to solve… and we need to solve them, but this perspective shift helped me realize I needed to prioritize momentum over problems. My tendency as a leader was to believe that spending time on problems was my greatest contribution, when in fact giving attention to our successes would actually reap greater rewards, both with our staff and to the bottom line.
So, are you more prone to fixing problems or fueling momentum?
This could be the perspective shift that makes all the difference!