Good leadership is really clear about where it is going, aligning goals and collating ideas, feedback and suggestions all while enforcing the rules of how everyone works together. It doesn't careen wildly in knee jerk reactions to every complaint, criticism or failure. It has a firm and fair hand. I think of it like a bus. Everyone knows the destination, knows it isn't up for debate and realizes that the passengers have to adhere to the bus rules. And everyone knows they don't have to take the bus if they don't want to.
My bus rules or the way I like to work together include:
- We don't "doubt" what can be done, we "wonder" what we can accomplish
- We have purpose, we don't wander
- We respect each other, are polite but direct, honesty comes before diplomacy or conflict avoidance
- We are independent; we don't need cheerleaders, hand holding or face time to make each other feel better
- We know time is of the essence and we never waste it
- We don't quit and we never say "just tell me what to do" we instead say "I suggest we do this"
- We live for vibrant dialogue; we are passionate about our ideas but our egos are checked at the door
- We seek the truth and don't make stuff up to make ourselves feel better when we just don't know
- We can just as easily say we are wrong as we can we are right
- We're never done - mediocrity isn't in our vocabulary - we continually improve ourselves and our work
- We live to learn, learning inspires, doesn't scare us
- We set the bar high to see if we can beat it, we don't set it low to make it easy for ourselves
- We are mindful in everything we do, never mindless, if something becomes mindless we tear it up
- We work hard but never to the point of burn-out, we take our vacation and return recharged
Everyone should know where the bus is going, they should appreciate that the destination isn't up for a vote - but ideas and suggestions are welcome, and they should take their decision seriously:
- Do they want to get on?
- Is it going where they want to go?
- Are they looking forward to the journey?
- Is there another bus they would rather take?
- Maybe it is time to take a breather and stay off the buses for awhile?
Or maybe all of these buses suck. It's time to start your own bus! Where will it go? What will your rider rules be?