Self Admission – I sometimes forget to stop working & connect with people. I am a purebred type A, highly driven, results oriented person. I value efficiency, outcomes, and performance. I start every day with a list of goals that I manage with vigor.
All of these qualities sound fantastic, but they have a dangerous flip side. When deciding how to invest time, they cause people to drive harder & do more. When a goal is met, a new, more aggressive one is immediately set without time to pause and celebrate. When a goal is unmet, these qualities breed impatience for the barriers to progress which often involve people.
And then, there are leaders on the other side of the continuum of me.
I know that almost all people arrive at work desiring to do meaningful work and to achieve success. I also know that within all of us lies amazing answers and ideas. But in order to tap into this – in order to be the company where people are totally fired up to create better solutions – leaders must consciously create an environment where this can happen.
It is like planting a seed & expecting it to grow without taking time to water it and ensure it has light. The seed is there. It is capable of blossoming into a beautiful, nourishing source of fruit. It is just waiting for the right conditions to exist.
Every leader falls somewhere on the continuum of desiring to develop relationships and desiring to produce results. Excessive focus on relationships results in leaders who get stuck in the story, who allow emotions to trump good business decisions, and who spend too little time driving results. Excessive focus on outcome results in leaders who fail to create authentic, trusting relationships, who are perceived as unapproachable, and who can create fear because of their intensity around goals.
The middle path is preferable; however, most of us are wired somewhere to the left or right of the middle. Almost all of us – with intention & effort – can harmonize in the middle and develop habits that sustain our “middle path.” The key is to know your tendencies, and then PLAN and SCHEDULE yourself to create balance.
We all know want to have great relationships, an engaged & energized team, and amazing results we are unable to achieve on our own. We all want to perform at peak levels everyday in every position. So, the question is – what change will we make to harmonize at the middle?