The visionary leader’s weekend mantra, or how I learned that it’s not all about me

Sep 25, 2010

Being a visionary leader is the coolest, most important thing any organization needs. It’s also sometimes a shortcut to being a jerk. So, repeat after me:

On Monday, I won’t hijack the weekly planning meeting with whatever stunning insight I read / heard / invented over the weekend.

Instead, I’ll listen patiently and offer only what is relevant and on-point, knowing that if my stunning insight is of any real value, it’ll be just as relevant later in the week.

On Tuesday, I won’t pull some poor unsuspecting schmuck into my office and terrify him by asking outrageously pointed, though pointless, questions.

Instead, I’ll take the same guy to lunch and find out how I can help him do his job better.

On Wednesday, I’ll resist my arsonist tendencies. I won’t light a match and throw it at some initiative that’s struggling to gain traction.

Instead, I’ll recognize that I was the person who started the damn initiative in the first place, and I’ll do the hard work of buckling down to actually find out what’s going wrong, and will try to fix it.

On Thursday, I will strenuously resist the need to (yet again) repeat and embellish barely believable stories about the magnificent feats of derring-do I accomplished in the past.

Instead, I will go out of my way to identify recent, real events of derring-do that my team have accomplished, and will find a way to celebrate them without the main purpose being to draw attention to myself.

On Friday, I’ll recognize that not everyone in my organization has the same flexibility around their schedule that I have, and I won’t stroll into the office wearing my golf shirt and slacks and act all “Hey, how’s it going – we never talk these days, let’s shoot the breeze.”

Instead, I’ll realize that many people get their best work done on Fridays, and … well, basically, I won’t act like a jerk. I’ll just go play golf and stay out of everybody’s way while they actually get good work done.