Protect the Message
Photo credit to Ray Hennessy @ https://unsplash.com/@rayhennessy
There are many ways to lead. Probably, as many unique ways as people leading there are out there. I’ve repeated myself (and to myself) there is just no right “formula”, though I can see patterns. I think we all can, regardless of our status of Leaders or Followers. They are dictated by what we think a Leader ought to be and of course by its antonym (if we can call it that), what we think a Leader ought not to be.
It is confusing sometimes. It demands a lot of strength and clarity of mind to just know what one must do. There are books yes, and mentors of course. If you’re lucky enough to have found the right book for you and gotten the attention of just the right mentor for just the right amount of time, stop reading and maybe start writing and sharing with the rest of us :-)
One thing that’s kept me up and trying to find my best way of leading is this one thought that might either be too naive or too powerful: one must always protect the message. Professing it won’t make it, you need to believe in it and protect it. Before going on, stop for a few second and ponder: would you, as an individual, follow a Leader who doesn’t believe in what they claim?
Protect the Message
As you grow into your role and are accepted as a Leader, you come to realize that what binds your team together is bigger than you and yet you are a big part of it. It is your obligation to impact them, and eventually to leave a legacy behind, something they can look upon and follow even after you are gone. Just think back and remember those Leaders that really “left” something behind for you. Why do you remember them, why do you honor them every time you think of them or something as they would do it?
As the one giving the team a direction, as the ever present beacon you must become, the content you dispatch becomes more voluminous and loud. If there’s no consistency or if it’s too feeble your content will be lost and you as a Leader will become invisible, irrelevant. What good is a Leader to a team, if they don’t need him or her or even remember that he or she was there for them to begin with?
What you bring into your team is what will eventually brand you.
It is not a matter of how experienced you are or how many years you have been doing it though that of course, is important per se. It is also not just about how strongly you deliver a message, as that only makes you great at speech-giving.
The concept is simple and thus, might trick you into thinking it’s not important: at one certain in your career you will need to protect that in which you believe as a Leader as that will mark the path for those who follow.
Whatever principles or beliefs that represents is up to you…and your team of course. Bring the wrong message to your team and no matter what you do to protect it, it will be rejected. How then, can you define what’s the right message, worthy of your protection?
You will know. All you need to do is ask yourself a simple question: why do YOU lead? Answer that…and build on it. That’s your message…so protect it.
Originally published at IT is what IT is.