This is a reflective time of the year for me. We are urged to say “thanks” to give to others and then to embark on the New Year with gusto. It’s a lot to take in! And for me, this year is extra deep/important because I will be starting a new job. Many of you know that a few years ago I jumped back into an internal role so that I could set aside the stress and strain of the road warrior life. My role was as an internal organization development consultant.
This is work that I enjoy. Even so, it did not have as much of the leadership and management elements that I love – love so much that I have studied it for 30 years and written 13 books about it. So beginning next week, I will be taking a new internal role – in the same organization – that offers more opportunity to use leadership and management. And it is through this lens that I offer this post.
I have written for years that I believe that leadership is a privilege. What I mean by this is that it is a special gift, an opportunity to show up in a bigger way.
Imagine this fictional scenario. Scientists have determined that the world is going to come to an end. They are sending a group of 500 people to a neighboring planet to create a new world. Now imagine you have been chosen to go. It’s awesome and heavy and calls upon all 500 to be the best and most impactful people possible. Nobody gets to be a slacker and they would not dare to.
I see leadership the same way – sure, it might not be so life-and-death, but we are creating a new world and we need to show up in the biggest and best possible way. This is the privilege and the burden of leadership and why I like it so much.
I am thankful for the opportunity. And to launch into the New Year with gusto, I am going to deliver on the following promises (that I think will serve you well, should you promise the same/similar) to those on my team and my peers:
- I care deeply about enabling your success and will show this with my actions.
- You will be the first to know, not the last, if I have concerns. I believe that candor is one way we show respect and care.
- I will urge us all – me, you, the whole team – to be better every day. This will feel exciting and like pressure at times. Courage, audacity, and passion are important daily emotions and I will encourage them.
- You will feel special and valued.
That’s my contract with myself. What are the promises you should make your team?