It seems like there is a pill for everything today. Pills that promise to make you smarter, stronger, and even, er,….longer. While the efficacy of many of these supplements is debatable, the power of the placebo is not. If you believe that a pill will help, your mind will be inclined to find positive results. In effect, believing is seeing.
With this in mind, I have three pills for you and they come with the promise of making you a better leader if you believe in them. Take them as necessary.
The blue pill silences your voice and opens your ears.
When you’re working with a team, it’s natural to want to contribute. If you’re a leader, it’s natural to “take control”. Asserting oneself by leading a conversation and framing the discussion will satisfy both desires but may not lead to an optimal outcome. If you feel the urge to start yapping, take the blue pill and open your ears. A moment or two of silence may pass before your team starts to contribute. Recognize that each of them possesses competency in their fields and can give a unique perspective on any issue given their position. Their input is data, good data, and will lead to a better outcome.
The red pill will help you create and communicate your vision.
Organizations are complex and many decisions need to be made to accomplish goals. It would seem that the easiest thing to do would be to tell people what you want them to do, however, this does not scale or recognize the value that your team members can deliver. By creating and communicating your vision for what you want the team to achieve, you can harness each person’s creativity, skill, and experience in order to achieve dramatic results. Give them the why and they will figure out the how.
The yellow pill is for your ego and it’s the most bitter one.
If you find yourself in an emotional state, arguing your point or looking for confirmation that your position is correct, pause to dissociate yourself from your position and try to be objective. You may find that you are not correct and that you need to take the yellow pill, check your ego. It is bitter but good medicine. Admit to yourself that your current position or belief is not right, give credit to those who are only trying to help you get on the right path, and start moving forward again.
Written by: Austin Meyermann, Founder and President of Hunter Crown, LLC
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