My leadership has been shaped over the years by many different authors, speakers and mentors. Mark Miller is one of those authors that has significantly influenced my thinking. In the following guest post, Mark reminds us how our leadership is affected by everything we do in life, even what we do with our free time.
My passion and my calling is to encourage and equip leaders. So, why would I write a post built around the question, “What do you do for fun?” Well, my motive is multi-faceted. I have several reasons.
If we want to lead well, we must continually expand our world. Doing things for fun is a pathway to a larger world. Hobbies, travel, adventure, even reading widely can be fun and help us lead at a higher level. If all we do is work, we actually limit our impact.
If we want to lead to our full potential, I believe we’ve got to recharge our own batteries from time to time. I understand people engage in different activiites to replenish themselves; however, fun is an outstanding way to clear our minds and refresh our spirit. I was taught at an early age to see recreation as Re-Creation. Fun is therapeutic!
Our attitude and emotional state are contagious. Like it or not, people always watch the leader. More than that, your demeanor will, over time, be reflected in your team. When we engage in “fun” activities, whatever that looks like for us as individuals, it affects our outlook, our countenance and our attitude. That impacts our team. Have some fun this weekend and see how it translates on Monday morning back at the office.
The most common push back I get on this one is, “I don’t have time.” If that’s where you are, I have two thoughts for you…
When my wife worked outside the home, she had a very demanding job. Often it would require her to literally work for days without coming home! One morning, as I was getting ready for work, she arrived home. She told me her supervisor sent her home. I asked why. She said, “He told me that if you have a mule and you kill him, you don’t have a mule anymore.” We decided it was the first time she’d been called a mule.
If you’re working too much to have time for some fun in your life, or you’re allowing members of your team to live that lifestyle, you’re going to kill the mule… then you won’t have a mule.
Finally, if you are too busy to have any fun outside the office, pull out your calendar and schedule it. You and I both know once something is on our calendars, we have a high success rate of making it happen. I have just begun discussions with my wife and my assistant about “fun” for 2017. In a matter of days, I will have locked in dates. Try it, you might like it.
Now, go and have fun!
Originally published on GreatLeadersServe.com
Mark Miller is the best-selling author of 6 books, an in-demand speaker and an executive at Chick-fil-A. His latest book, Leaders Made Here, describes how to nurture leaders throughout the organization, from the front lines to the executive ranks and outlines a clear and replicable approach to creating the leadership bench every organization needs.
One of the most frustrating things that I experience in my process improvement work is when team progress stalls. There may be a lot of activity, but no real results. This can happen in many different ways.
Team members waste all their time arguing about what to do first. We have endless discussions about improvement ideas that never turn into action. Often, these discussions devolve into general gripe sessions with no real purpose.
On the other end of the spectrum, teams can find themselves with no clear ideas for improvement. We don’t make any progress because we don’t know what to work on.
There is one question that I have found to be extremely helpful in all of these situations.
I often have coaching conversations with individuals seeking to become better leaders. Most of the time, these conversations focus on the skills they need to develop to be successful. Common skills that people ask about include effective communication, decision-making, strategy, time management, and other more job-specific skills.
The leadership skills that I recommend individuals focus on vary based on the situation. After having many of these conversations, I began to ask myself a more general question.
What one skill should all leaders learn to be more effective?
Have you ever found yourself sitting in a meeting, wondering when you can get back to doing real work? Maybe you’re one of the 73% of meeting attendees that brings other work with you. Or are you part of the 39% that is asleep?
While meetings are a necessary part of collaborating with others, they don’t have to be ineffective. A successful facilitator can help direct the conversation to ensure that the end result is valuable.
Like many Americans across the country, I spent over an hour on Tuesday waiting in line for the opportunity to have my voice heard. This provided me with plenty of time to observe those around me. One thing that stood out was that the turnout was much larger than usual, which naturally led to a much longer wait.
While many voters expressed clear displeasure at the length of the line, I was filled with a sense of pride in my community. I’m happy to live in a community full of people that care about the country and want to do their part to help improve it in whatever way they feel is appropriate. They were willing to take an hour or more out of their day and invest it in the future of our government.
If only we could get our teams to be this engaged. We’ve covered in the past the best way to measure employee engagement as well as some strategies for engaging our teams and getting them to speak up. Today I would like to cover some thoughts from the voting line that can be applied to our teams and workplaces.