Will Life Ever Get Better?

I was walking out of work the other day, and I was thinking about my thinking. I know, that sounds weird, but let me explain. The awareness and understanding of one’s own thought processes is called metacognition. It’s more than just thinking about something, but rather understanding why we think the things we do. Our thinking is what determines our state of mind, our mental health, our feelings and emotions, etc. Unless we stop and think about our thinking, we will always wonder, “Will life ever get better?”

Our thoughts have the power to either get us through the hardest times in our life, or dig us into a pit of depression and despair. To become a Navy Seal, you must go through BUD/S (Basic Underwater Demolitions Seal) Training. Those who have gone through the course and graduated will tell you that it doesn’t matter how physically fit or strong you are, the only thing that will get you through the course is your mindset. BUDS instructors put recruits through rigorous, painstaking intervals that are meant to push recruits to quit. In fact, instructors bring out a bell at every interval and encourage recruits to ring the bell and quit. 

The only way recruits survive the torturous intervals is by staying focused and having a winning mindset. When they allow themselves to be beaten by their thinking, they quit. Mark Owen, a former member of the U.S. Naval Special Warfare Development Group, commonly known as SEAL Team Six, said this about his time in BUDS:

“It’s six months long, it’s big, it’s overwhelming, but I broke everything down into one bite at a time. Because if you focused on, ‘Hey, look, how am I going to get through six months?, that would be much too overwhelming for me. So I broke everything down into one meal, one bite. So if I could make it to breakfast, awesome. If I could make it to lunch, even better. Dinner? OK, cool. Let’s see if I can do it again the next day. And I did that throughout my entire career.”

It was the mindset of one step after the other that got Mark through one of the toughest, most rigorous training of his life. When we focus on things outside of our control, life tends to become daunting; it becomes more than we can handle. This leads us to question if life will ever get better. All of that depends on us and our mindset.

However, our mindset is influenced by everything around us. This is why it is critical that we take heed in what we look at, read, observe, and dwell on. Right now, if I were to open any news source, I would probably think, “Life is hopeless.” With bombarding stories of war, political grandstanding, death, depression, divisiveness, etc., who would ever think that life is going to get better? We need to be diligent and guard our minds from those things that will create a defeated mindset.  

Everything on the news and social media are outside of our control. The only thing we can control is ourselves. Worrying about things beyond ourselves gives way to hopelessness and despair. Instead of allowing our thoughts to be tossed to and fro by the media, we must regain control and focus on the here and now. We must focus on our actions, our choices, our motives. Beyond that, it doesn’t matter. There will always be wars and rumors of wars. There will always be reports of death and despair. There will always be stories that will make us question life. None of that matters. What matters most is how well we live our own life. 

If you want to see life get better, it starts with you. It starts with your thoughts and actions. It starts with how you treat your neighbor and those around you. In the midst of all the darkness, light can be seen. Each of us has a light within us. When we allow our light to shine, the world gets better. When we pursue goodness and righteousness, the world becomes brighter. The question of whether or not the world is going to get better depends solely on each of us. We must guard our thoughts and think only on that which is true, noble, right, pure, lovely, and admirable. Rather than worry about things outside of our control, we must focus on becoming the best versions of ourselves. When we do this, life will most definitely get better!

As always, stay humble and serve well!

The Choice Is Ours

We are creatures of habit, which means we easily find ourselves in ruts. Ruts are a curious thing. Have you ever seen an agricultural field? Have you seen the long sprinkler systems that traverse that field? Those sprinkler systems are called pivots, because they “pivot” to the left and right from one location. From a distance, these pivots are fascinating to see. However, if you walk a pivot line, you will find that the field is filled with deep ruts from the pivot moving back and forth. Some ruts from these pivots can be nearly knee deep. If you are not paying attention as you walk the field, you could easily fall into a rut and be in a world of hurt. These ruts also pose significant problems for farmers when the pivot gets stuck and is unable to move. When the pivot stops moving, the rest of the field is starved of water. Farmers must work quickly to get the pivot moving again. However, the area in which the pivot is stuck has been saturated with water and has created a deep, muddy crevice that they must work in to mitigate the issue.

Have you ever been on a backcountry, all dirt, two track road? These roads can be pretty brutal to drive on. Depending on the time of year, these roads could be moondust, hard, and crusty, or they can be bumpy, muddy, and deeply rutted. There have been many roads that I have questioned traveling down due to the deepness of the ruts. Some ruts can get so deep that a truck can get high centered between the ruts. There are three options when driving a road with deep ruts – turn around, push on hoping to not get stuck, or blaze a new trail. Either choice comes with risk, and these choices can also be applied to life.

You’re probably wondering what’s with my sudden obsession with ruts. Well, it’s because I have found myself in ruts multiple times in my life. I have learned many things while struggling my way through the ruts I have made for myself. As I mentioned before, we are creatures of habit, and habits create ruts in our life. Habits can consist of anything. Some habits can be good, like making it a habit to go to the gym and be healthy. Other habits can be debilitating and turn into addictions that can erode the very essence of who we are. Whichever habits we have in our life, we are deepening the ruts of those habits the more we live in them. 

I would like to think that most of us are living in healthy, positive ruts that are creating opportunities and a better way of life for ourselves. However, the reality is that healthy ruts usually don’t run that deep, because it takes discipline to stay in those ruts. It’s the easy choices that take very little effort and work that create the deepest of ruts, and these ruts are typically unhealthy, paralyzing, and draining. The problem is we allow ourselves to live in these ruts knowing the effects they have on our life, and the more we live in them the deeper they go. 

Let’s go back to the choices we have when driving a backcountry road with deep ruts. We can either turn around, go through them and hope we don’t get stuck, or we blaze a new trail. These same choices apply to our life. Most of us keep on living in our ruts and get stuck. We then get an attitude of complacency and apathy. We begin to blame everyone else for our faults and failures. What we need to do is take ownership of our choices, be honest with ourselves, and make a different choice than the ones that keep us in our ruts. This is no easy task. This means we have to put in work – hard work – and stay focused on the mission. We must stay disciplined and make a deliberate effort to change course. 

When driving through deep ruts, the truck stays wherever the ruts lead. You can literally take your hands off of the steering wheel, and the truck will drive itself. In order to get out of those ruts, it takes power and a hard turn on the steering wheel. For us to get out of a negative, self-deceiving rut, we need to make a hard effort to change directions. However, just as the truck will find itself back in the ruts if we do not take care to watch where we are going, we will find ourselves in the same rut if we do not have discipline and make a conscious effort in our actions and choices.

A rut only dictates the path of a vehicle if the driver chooses not to change course. The same can be said about life. The ruts we find ourselves in only dictate our course if we choose them to. At any point, we can change course by changing our choices, actions, and mindset. Depending on the deepness of the ruts, a change of course may take multiple attempts. The tires of a truck fit nicely in well driven ruts, and to change direction, one might need to make multiple attempts to get out of the ruts from which the truck is driving. We tend to create deep ruts in our lives that lead to self destruction, emotional and mental pain, and a sense of loneliness. Some ruts run very deep, and to get out of them, one must work extremely hard, be disciplined, and make a sincere effort in changing course.

We must also remember that a rut does not determine our destination. The driver determines the overall destination, and as we are the drivers of our own life, we can determine where we go and the destination we end up. The choice is ours. Our success, our health, our progress is up to us. The only one holding us back is ourselves. To become better, we must be disciplined in our actions, choices, and intentions. We become what we consistently do. 

As always, stay humble and serve well!

The Power of Awareness

Book: How To Lead When You’re Not In Charge
Author: Clay Scroggins 
Quote: “Don’t underestimate the power of awareness; it’s the first aid for ignorance.”

How aware are you of your interactions with those around you? Do you ever consider how your actions and words might be perceived by others? I would wager that the majority of us walk around speaking and acting certain ways and express that it’s just “who we are.” To be an effective leader, we must learn to be aware of our words and our actions. We need to open our eyes and listen to those around us. We might be surprised to discover that “who we are” is establishing a negative mindset in others about us.

We must never forget that leadership is not a title or a position. Leadership is about influence. If you work or interact with people, you are a leader. Two of the most important characteristics of leadership are reflection and awareness. If we are not self-reflecting, then we are potentially damaging our influence and our ability to lead well. Reflection also keeps us aware of how our actions and words may be impacting those around us. 

Something I strongly encourage you to do is have frequent conversations with colleagues and people you know about how your actions and words are being perceived. If there is one thing I have learned, it is that most people shy away from confrontation and will withhold valuable, insightful knowledge that would help us become better individuals. In order to become better leaders, we must seek out the areas in our life that need work, and there is no better way to do that than to have crucial conversations about ourselves with others. 

If we do not take the time to consider how our actions and words may be perceived by others, we become ignorant to the negative impact we are having on those around us. If relationship is key to leadership, then we, as leaders, need to acknowledge that our behavior may be hindering the relationships around us. Most people will choose to be kind to our face and tell the truth behind our back. This doesn’t mean that all these people are lacking character, but rather they may not do well with confrontation. Personally, I’m the kind of guy that will tell you exactly how it is without sugar coating or blowing smoke. I would rather people know the truth at face value than walk around disillusioned. Overall, it is important that we invite others to share their thoughts and opinions about us in a safe, welcoming environment.

Please don’t misunderstand me. I am not suggesting that everyone’s opinions of us are correct. Rather, I am suggesting that we learn to open ourselves up to critical feedback and then reflect on what we have been told. If there is a pattern from what people are saying, then maybe we need to do some self-evaluation and begin working on the areas that are keeping us from becoming better leaders. We need to start becoming aware of how our actions and words are being perceived by the people around us. It’s time that we first aid our ignorance with awareness.

As always, stay humble and serve well!

Impact Over Platform

Book: The Mentor Leader
Author: Tony Dungy 
Quote: “Don’t worry about your platform; focus on your impact.”

“Leadership is about influence.” This statement has been stated by Brad Lomenick, Jocko Willink, John C. Maxwell, Tony Dungy, and many others. If leadership is about influence, then it is not about titles or positions. So many people, my previous self included, feel that leadership can only happen in positions with leadership titles. The truth is that leadership happens wherever we influence those around us. The platform doesn’t matter. Your impact is what matters most.

In the past, I had been worried about my platform and my position when it came to leadership and influence. I always thought that my platform mattered, and I needed to be in certain positions to have the greatest impact. I always thought that my words would have more meaning and influence if I held a “leadership position.” I cared more about my platform than I did my impact. Through time, however, I have learned the value of focusing my attention and energy on the people I come into contact with on a daily basis. 

You see, a platform is nothing more than a title or position. You could have the greatest title or the highest ranking position, and still have little to no impact on the people around you. I have personally found that when we care more about our platform, we miss opportunities to  encourage, support, and help those around us. In other words, we miss opportunities to have a real impact on others. Focusing more on our platform than our impact makes it easier to alienate others and focus only on people who can benefit us. We tend to become selfish and self-centered when our platform is more important than our impact.

Imagine the possibilities when our focus changes from platform to impact. All people become important, and we focus on having positive actions and words toward others. We start to realize that our impact means much more than our platform. You see, our impact reflects our character and our intentions. People are one of the most valuable elements we have in our life. Without people, life is meaningless. We need to consider our words and actions as we work with our team. We need to speak life and encouragement and support those on our team. People will remember you for how you treated them, not for the position you held.

There is an old saying – I’m pretty sure you have heard it, “Do unto others as you would have done unto you.” We can state this phrase with ease, but how often do we stop and consider what this statement means? Have you ever reflected on the actions, words, and thoughts you have towards others and determine if you would appreciate the same actions, words, and thoughts made towards you? It’s easy to say “Yes”, but in reality, I guarantee that there are some things you do to others that you would NOT appreciate done to you. Again, your impact is much more valuable than the platform you hold. 

Always remember, how you act toward others holds more power and value than the platform you think you have. People will remember your actions before they remember your platform. 

As always, stay humble and serve well!

Hungry and Motivated

Book: H3 Leadership 
Author: Brad Lomenick
Quote: “Stay hungry and motivated, not arrogant and entitled.”

H3 Leadership by Brad Lomenick is in my top 5 reads. Just like Extreme Ownership, H3 Leadership is packed full of great ideas and thoughts that can relate to anyone no matter their title or position. I believe the quote stated above sums up how we should all look at life and the current position we find ourselves in.

“Stay hungry.” No, this doesn’t mean you need to starve yourself of sustenance. Hungry refers to the desire to push yourself to become better; to be more than what you currently are. Too often we start hungry and become complacent or apathetic, which lends to excuse making and lack of growth. It’s hard to always want to be improving, but it’s essential for our personal and professional growth. The only way we can stay hungry is through discipline. Discipline changes our attitude from, “I’m too tired to do that,” to, “Even though I’m really tired, I’m going to do it anyway.” Don’t allow apathy and excuses to keep you from staying hungry.

“Stay motivated.” Motivation is fickle. It is never guaranteed and can be lost for a long time. However, motivation can be found, but we need to be willing to look for it. The other day, I was listening to a short Jocko video. He was discussing a comment that someone tweeted to him. The comment said, “Jocko, can you yell at me to get me more motivated?” Jocko simply said, “No. Yelling is not a motivator. In Navy Seal training instructors yell at you to get you to quit, not to motivate you.” Motivation is about personal will and choice. Again, however, motivation is fickle and can be lost. This is why having discipline is crucial to personal and professional growth and success.

“Not arrogant.” Arrogant is defined as: “Having or revealing an exaggerated sense of one’s own importance or abilities.” Arrogance is the poison that decays good character. When we think we are more important than what we really are, we tend to have an inflated sense of self that alienates everyone around us. We start to see others as less than what their worth and put more emphasis on OUR gain and OUR position. Instead of encouraging others and walking with others on their professional and personal journeys, we tend to look at ourselves and complain when others don’t give us the attention we think we deserve. We must defy the urge of being arrogant and strive for humility. Let us think more highly of others and less of ourselves.

“Not entitled.” This seems to be a pandemic in today’s society. There is this blatant lie sweeping our country that people are deserving of special treatment or should be given special privileges. No one is entitled to anything. We came into this world naked, and there is nothing that says we deserve anything. We are blessed with life. What we do with it is our choice. We don’t have a say in the cards we are dealt in the life we are given. We need to make the best opportunity with the cards we are dealt. Nobody owes us a thing, and neither of us deserves special treatment. It is our responsibility to take the life we have been given and make it the best life possible. Just remember, you are not entitled to anything. If you want it, get after it. 

The quote for this blog is a good reminder of how we should be living our lives: “Stay hungry and motivated, not arrogant and entitled.” Work hard, be disciplined, and respect everyone. 

As always, stay humble and serve well!

Intimidated

Book: Extreme Ownership
Authors: Jocko Willink and Leif Babin
Quote: “A true leader is never intimidated when others step up and take charge.”

This is the first blog of my new Book Highlights Series. In this series, I will be going back through many of the books I have read in the past few years and reflecting on the thoughts and ideas that I have highlighted. My first quote comes from Jocko Willink and Leif Babin’s Extreme Ownership. If you haven’t read this book, I highly recommend it to everyone. It doesn’t matter where you are in your life, or whether or not you hold a special title or position. Extreme Ownership is a book for everyone. I will probably be referencing the highlights from this book multiple times in this series, as there are so many great reminders. So, without further ado, let’s get this started.

Intimidation is something many people struggle with. Whenever someone with more confidence or more self assurance steps up within a team, there seems to be this awkward moment between the team and leadership. Leadership has two options, take a step forward, assert dominance, and take control, or take a step back, be willing to listen, and allow this team member to step up and take charge. For many leaders, it is difficult to allow others within their team to lead. However, I believe it is the responsibility of the leader to train up team members to lead alongside them. Being intimidated by confident team members is a downfall of leadership, and it will ultimately cost the company/organization, as people will be stifled and not allowed to explore their strengths and ideas. 

We need to learn to humble ourselves and allow others the opportunity to lead. This is difficult for those of us with “A type” personalities. Relinquishing control can be difficult, but when we want to force control, or keep the control to ourselves, we might possibly miss out on potential opportunities and hinder the progress of our team, our company/organization, and most of all, ourselves. Being intimidated is a sign of insecurities, and insecurities can manipulate us into making irrational decisions. As leaders, these irrational decisions can be our downfall and hinder progress for ourselves and our team.

We must never forget that the primary job of any leader is to bring up future leaders to one day take our place. This means we must learn to let go of control and allow others the opportunity to rise to the occasion. The health and maturity of our team is strengthened by giving members within our team the opportunity to take charge. However, it is the leader’s responsibility to praise their team when things go right, and take ownership when things go wrong. If the team member that stepped up to the challenge falls flat on their face, it is because leadership failed them. 

We as leaders need to become less “sage on the stage” and more “guide on the side.” We need to be attentive, but not controlling. We need to be engaged, but not overbearing. There is a special balance that leaders must maintain when leading. Jocko and Leif call this the Dichotomy of Leadership – this is the book that follows Extreme Ownership. We need to learn to let go of control and allow members of our team to take charge.

Remember, leadership is not about you. It’s about those you lead. Don’t be intimidated when people in your team want to step up to take on leadership roles. If individuals in your team want to take charge, let them. If they make mistakes, guide them. Help them become the best leaders they can be by letting go of control and letting them step up to the challenges.

As always, stay humble and serve well!

NEW SERIES COMING SOON!

I am excited to announce that I will be starting a new series for my blog. Over the past few years, I have read a multitude of books. As I read, I always have one very important tool with me…a highlighter. As I read, I highlight important ideas or statements that stick out to me or anything that I want to reflect on and remember. As I have been going through these different books, I thought I would begin a series focused on responding to the different parts I have highlighted in the books that I have read.  

I will be giving you the title of the book and the quote that I highlighted. I will then write a response to what I have highlighted. I would love to make this new series as interactive as possible. If you have the time, please leave a comment and respond with your own ideas and thoughts about the quote I share and leave your thoughts about what I have said as well. I do enjoy reading the comments that people leave on the blogs that I write.

I am currently in the process of going back through those books and writing down the parts I have highlighted. This will be a new page that I will be adding to my website within the next few months. It will include the titles to the different books I have read and the highlighted quotes from those books (this is a work in progress).

Stay tuned for the first blog post in this series. I hope you enjoy this new series, and I look forward to reading any comments you leave.

As always, stay humble and serve well!

I Can’t Stress Enough…

I was sitting and talking with a friend the other day, and I was perplexed to listen to her describe her interactions with her upper management. My friend has a fancy title and she tries hard to do what is needed for her team, but she has found it difficult to deal with some of the issues she is having in her building. Whenever she tries to ask for help, or expresses her frustrations to her boss with another fancy title, all she gets is, “That’s nice. I’m sure you’ll figure it out,” or, “Do what you’re told and work with what you’ve been given.” I also have to mention that her boss is rarely seen, and when he calls management meetings, he refuses to listen to the needs of his managers and expects everything to be done his way.

It still amazes me the stories I hear of individuals who are in leadership positions not doing any kind of leading. Either they are absent from the team, closed minded to new ideas, too arrogant to admit they are wrong, or they sit behind a desk and expect people to just fall in line. I cannot stress enough the importance of leadership investing in their team, being present, staying humble, and most importantly leading by example. If you are someone who has a fancy title, this blog is especially for you.

I want you to ask yourself, “What is the most important part of my job?” If your position has any kind of title, I am going to assume the answer is to lead your team. Now I want you to ask yourself, “How am I making my team a priority?”. If you struggle answering this question, you’re a person with a title and nothing more. If your answer is superficial, such as I show up occasionally and give nice bonuses, then you are a person with a title and nothing more. If your answer can be summarized by selfless acts of service, investing in your people, and giving of your time to help your people succeed, then you are a leader that just happens to have a title.

Your job as a leader is to lead. That may sound like a dumb statement, but sadly, it’s that dumb statement that many leaders still don’t follow. Leading people means you are listening, sacrificing your time, engaging with your team, being a part of what’s happening, providing resources that will help your team become even more successful, and much more. Leading is not done from behind a desk, nor is it is not done apathetically. Leading is not a title or position. It is about the people. It is ALWAYS about the people. As Jocko Willink once said, “The mission is a top priority, but it is not THE top priority. People come first.” If you do not engage, support, invest in, and speak life into your team, then there is no leadership taking place. People come first.

If your people come to you expressing their frustrations or need for resources to make their job better, then it is your job to do whatever you can to meet the needs of your people. If all you do is give lip service, or if your answer is to “suck it up and deal with it”, then you’re not a leader. You’re just someone with a fancy title that can’t lead. You are creating more problems by not engaging with your team, not problem solving with your team, and/or not helping your team in the areas that they are struggling most. Your job as a leader is to invest into what matters most…your team. You need to listen and act on the needs and requests of your team. Now, I understand that not everything can be acted on, but it is your job to give them assurance that you hear them and are working to meet their needs. 

I can’t stress enough, never forget, just because you have some special, fancy title, it doesn’t make you a leader. Your actions determine if you are a leader. However, the actions you take will determine your effectiveness as a leader. You must always remember, your people come first. Listen to them, support them, and do what it takes to help your team succeed. Don’t lead from behind a desk. Don’t give lip service. Engage with your team and lead.

As always, stay humble and serve well!

The Quiet Leader

“Pay less attention to what men say. Just watch what they do” (Dale Carnegie). Who we are is less about what we say and more about what we do. In today’s society, there is a lot of talk. We have become conditioned to always have something to say or respond to things of which we agree or disagree. We live in a noise filled world where talk is abundant and cheaper than most everything in life. People’s words do not support their actions. Many people in our society speak one way, but live contrary to what they preach. We need to learn the ability of being quiet leaders.

Leadership is about influence. Many believe that influence comes from speaking relevant and important things. How this might be a type of influence, it is a cheap form of influence. Anyone can get behind a camera and record nice videos and then post them to social media for thousands to see. However, social media comes with one significant flaw. What was once posted is quickly forgotten. A video is watched by thousands, maybe even millions, of people and is quickly swiped away to be forgotten. Social media may be a form of leadership, but it is impersonal and lacks the accountability to live what one preaches. As the author, Patrick Ness, once said, “You do not write your life with words. You write it with actions. What you think is not important. It is only important what you do.”

Leadership is not about what is said, but more about what is done. For example, the worst type of leader is someone who uses a lot of words, makes everything sound pretty, but once they’re off the stage, they live completely contrary to everything they just said. This accounts for 99% of politicians. Another example of poor leadership is someone who barks orders or expectations to their team, talks about accountability, sacrifice, and service, and then heads back to the office never to be seen again. You see, words are just noise. If you want to lead loudly, you need to learn how to be a quiet leader.  

So what exactly does it mean to be a quiet leader? To answer simply, “Actions speak louder than words.” A quiet leader is someone whose actions speak for their leadership. They don’t speak unless they need to. They work hard and allow their actions to speak loudly. A quiet leader is seen more than heard. They are the first to arrive and the last to leave. They are the ones who will make the necessary sacrifices to see others succeed. A quiet leader will choose to park in the back parking lot to give the front spaces to their team. They do what needs to be done without complaining or pointing fingers. The quiet leader takes extreme ownership of everything. They lead by example.

Bottom line, if you want your team to perform or act a certain way, you must be the example for your team. Your actions must do the leading. If you want respect from your team, then you must be the first to give it. If you want your team to step up and make sacrifices, then you must be the first to do it. If you are unwilling to do what you are expecting from your team, then you lose all credibility. You can bark orders all day long, but if your actions don’t match the expectations you have for others, then you are an ineffective leader. Quiet leadership is all about action and not words. When others see you walk into a room, walk onto the production floor, walk the halls of the organization, they are watching what you do, how you act, how you respond. Let your actions do the leading. Be a quiet leader.

As always, stay humble and serve well!

The Role of Management in Leadership

The dictionary defines management as, “the process of dealing with or controlling things or people.” I have to be honest, I find this definition to be the exact opposite of the true purpose of leadership. Management is a title and/or position. Leadership has nothing to do with titles or positions. Leadership is about service, which is the very opposite of controlling. So what exactly is the role of management in leadership?

First, we need to deconstruct the idea of “dealing with” and “controlling” people. The idea of “dealing with” people expresses a very passive, unvested role when it comes to leading  people. Without a core belief in “team”, it doesn’t matter the company or organization, there will never be forward progress, nor will said company/organization ever grow to its full potential. “Dealing” with people does not express investing in people. The idea of “dealing” with people conveys a negative connotation about the team. Instead of seeing people as valuable members to the company/organization, it indicates that people are problems that need to be “dealt” with. To combat the idea that management needs to “deal” with people, the focus should be on investing in people. People are not problems that need to be dealt with. Rather, they are the key component to the success of any company/organization.

Anytime people are “controlled” it never ends well for the one doing the “controlling”. There are things that are controlled: remotes, vehicles, lights, etc. What do all of these things have in common? They are all inanimate objects. People are not inanimate objects and should never be treated as such. Leadership should never seek to “control” their team, but rather provide guidance and support for each member of the team. If someone on the team is struggling, leadership needs to come alongside them and find ways to help that individual become successful. On the other hand, if a team member is toxic to the team and is refusing support or help, then it’s time to let that person go. By no means should leadership seek to control their people. Rather, they need to be in the trenches with their team listening, observing, investing, and most importantly, serving. As Jocko Willink stated, “The mission is a top priority, but it is not THE top priority. People come first.”

As I stated before, management is a title and a position. This doesn’t make the person in management a good leader. We need to redefine the definition of management. Instead of “dealing with” and “controlling” people, management needs to focus on the foundational characteristics of leadership: support, guidance, investment, and service. When management lacks these core fundamental characteristics of leadership, they will do more harm than good. If the goal of management is to get positive results and meet goals for the company/organization, then they need to invest and support the people who can meet and provide said results. The team should always come first. 

Let’s go back to the original question, “What is the role of management in leadership?” I believe a better question might be, “What is the most effective style of leadership for management?” If the goal is to get results, then management needs to support and invest in the ones that will help produce those results. Controlling and dealing with a team limits the results that can be produced. However, by investing in and serving their team, a manager can boost morale, help strengthen their team’s weaknesses, and build a positive, team centered mindset within their company/organization. If you are in a management position, be sure to make your people the priority. The goals of the company/organization won’t matter if you don’t have a team helping you reach those goals. 

As always, stay humble and serve well!

%d bloggers like this: