Leaders Have Conversations

James, a client, was struggling to come to grips with some feedback he had received from his MD about his performance as a Leader.
James is a relatively new Leader. He is a no nonsense professional engineer with over 20 years’ experience, and has always had a functional role.
He prides himself on a good job well done. His training and experience have taught him exceptional people skills, problem solving & project management. His values are altruistic and caring. He is a really nice guy to be around.

Unfortunately, none of this has prepared him for the onslaught of people, operational, management, client, and other “stakeholder” demands and expectations he is now facing.

His latest awakening came after he had given 110%, worked 10 days straight, problem solved a crisis, in fact he had jumped into the problem with both feet right up to his neck, just as his experience had conditioned him to.
He delivered.
Thus his mental and emotional reserves were not up to coping with his MD’s feedback on his lack of performance in his new role.
He was devastated.

Our exploration on the nature of Being a leader didn’t take long, only about 5 minutes with a whiteboard.
We created the graphic below.

DO ers vs Lead ers

Following our conversation James’s self-reflection (as opposed to self-flagellation) was that he had defaulted to his old role when faced with a crisis. He reacted and fixed the issue.
This self-reflection led to subsequent conversations with his MD, around clarity of the business strategy and goals, and where his priorities and focus needed to be.

Sometimes it doesn’t take much to change a perspective, it just takes a conversation.

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