Lessons In Leadership From This Past Month

At the start of the year, I bought Jocko Wilink and Leif Babin’s book Extreme Ownership. I got it to help me get beyond the Permission level of leadership to Production level. At that level, people follow you because of what you’ve done for the business or ministry.

I’ve seen the principles at work and applied a few of them along with learning some lessons on being firm with people. When everything is going right, leadership is fun. When you have to hold people accountable, it’s not. The fact that it boils down to being your fault is humbling.

Leaders must own everything in their world, anything that impacts the mission

Standards are in place to guarantee quality and production. These have to be balanced by taking care of the people–walking the line between the interests of the workers and the company.

Experience is teaching me that the people reflect the leader. When I let standards slip, it shows apathy on my part. Upholding them shows I care, and that they should care.

I’ve heard it like this, it’s not what you promote, but what you allow. That’s good since it puts ownership on you. Owning up is very rare, we like to blame others. That’s our sin nature.

Adam passed the buck to Eve. Eve passed it to Satan. Everyone was still held accountable.

Leaders must enforce standards and encourage the team to take ownership

This past month, I’ve had more hard conversations than I’d like. One individual was taking a shortcut that has caused problems in the past and was against procedure. I did what Jaime taught me (and was in the book) and explained why he couldn’t do that.

Then the following day I had to have the same conversation with another.

Explain the why, how, and what, rather than ‘just do this’

On another occasion, I saw teamwork failing. When someone has to leave their spot, another covers it. That’s what one individual was doing; however, another worker wasn’t keeping him covered like he should’ve.

It’s not often that I have to use my command tone with someone. This hurts because I know they’re capable of more.

Teamwork is important since the business is like an ecosystem

Last year I was working on developing relationships and learning. This year is about moving forward. I heard a pastor say if 10% of the people aren’t mad at you then you’re not accomplishing anything. Thinking for a moment, I can have 2 people mad at me at work, and usually, do.

Here’s to accomplishing something.

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