There are numerous ways as a leader to measure yourself, your progress, and your goals. Not all of them are scientific, but they give you a way to move forward to improve yourself. Sometimes you will have the benefit of measurable progress indicators, and luckily, your email inbox is one of them. You can easily use your inbox to gauge several things, including when you need to delegate and focus on specific areas of the business.
This topic is as old as leadership is. From the very beginnings of people being led, this art has been studied. People have been training, writing, and blogging about how to best communicate to those you mean to lead. The problem with saying anything to your staff is that they will always have three meanings, regardless to how much planning, thought, and good will you put into it. There will be what your words mean, what you mean by your words, and what each member of your team thinks you mean by it. It’s your responsibility to either strike certain phrases and statements from your vocabulary, or learn when the right time to use those words is.
No matter how short or long you’ve been “the boss,” communication will always be your most challenging aspect of the job. You’ll go through recurring phases of focusing on direction, feedback, motivation, correspondence, and more. (That is, if you’re worth your salt as a leader… You’ll be bettering your leadership skills daily.) Communications are always tricky. If I learned nothing else from Daniel Goleman’s Working with Emotional Intelligence, it’s that we need to focus on communication and that communication will always be different for the situation, person, and medium.
There are tons of topics and ideas where people feel confused. For some of us it’s financing. For others, it’s stocks. Some people get confused with sports. Not everyone understands why or how football works the way it does. In fact, nearly all of us use English words incorrectly every day. Simply put, we often take knowledge for-granted. In addition, if you hold a management or leadership title, it’s possible that you might not realize the difference. Being a leader and being a manager is not the same thing. Not by a longshot.
We’ve all been there. It’s a group setting – most likely a meeting at work. Several of our colleagues are there, including our boss and maybe even the boss' boss. The topic. Anything. It might be something seemingly trivial, or a new direction for the business to follow. The inevitable question is asked by someone in the room, “What do we think we should do about X?” The ominous letter X. It’s used in math and everywhere else as a placeholder. Similarly, this could be any decision and it’s often made before the group realizes it.
Have you ever boiled water? Sure you have. It’s easy. First, you get a saucepan (preferably a clean one). Next, you turn on the water and fill the sauce pan about 3/4 of the way. Now you turn a burner on your stovetop between medium and high heat. Finally, you wait. Easy. But that’s not what this article is about. It’s about the pouring of hot water, and how it’s related to being a great leader.