A Leadership Lesson 17 Years in the Making
Cicadas are about to make their presence known across large portions of the United States including Kentucky, Indiana, Ohio, and Tennessee. This batch has been dormant underground for 17 years, but now they are starting to emerge as part of their standard lifecycle. Along with their emergence comes the accompanying noise visual display.
As the world continues to address the COVID-19 pandemic, we will undoubtedly hear plenty of biblical references to plagues and locusts. Allow me to suggest another idea that the cicadas can bring to mind. This concept ties directly to you as a leader and your team or organization.
Just like dormant cicadas, some issues are waiting below the surface in your organization. These can be a wide range of problems, including distrust, a lack of innovation, cost control issues, employee disengagement, and much more. Like cicadas, when these issues finally emerge, they’re going to be loud, disruptive, and create quite a spectacle.
Unlike the cicadas with predictable life cycles, you don’t know when they will emerge. The only thing you know is that left unchecked, they will eventually come to life.
Here’s your chance to get ahead of these issues now instead of letting them fester beneath the surface. It will take time, energy, commitment, and strength to have some of those tough conversations to unearth them, but better to deal with them today.
Do these four things to address what’s below the surface:
- Share this article with your team and ask them to reflect on what issues might be right below the surface.
- Invite them to meet to share their ideas. Ensure that they understand that your intent of the meeting is to fix problems, not to fix the blame. (In other words, make it safe to share.)
- Work with your to prioritize the issues and to create plans to address them.
- Work with your team and others in the organization to uncover, address, and eradicate the issues.
It may be uncomfortable to deal with these challenges, but leadership isn’t about being comfortable.
- Be the leader that your people need.
- Be the leader who confronts challenging issues.
- Be the leader who makes a big impact in the long run
Make it a great day! Patrick
Photo by Shannon Potter on Unsplash
Patrick Leddin, PhD is a speaker, global leadership consultant, and The Wall Street Journal bestselling author of The Five-Week Leadership Challenge. Patrick is an Associate Professor at Vanderbilt University with a thriving leadership blog and podcast, and 25-years of leadership experience. He offers an unparalleled mix of academic rigor and real-world experience.