Most everyone who reads my blogs is a leader. Almost all of you, however, are also under an authority too. While you’re a leader, you may not be the top leader in your organization. In case you’re wondering why a top leader does and says what he (or she) does, let me explain something to you.
Last week I had a nervous moment with two of my team members. Growing Leaders is building a new website and I began to “wax eloquent” with my thoughts on why this issue is so important and what I felt we should do with the new site. To lighten things up a bit, I closed my comments with a joke about how one of the downsides of their job is they must listen to me drone on and on like this.
I could tell by their nervous laughter that they were glad I was finished…and that they both wondered why I felt I needed to review what they felt they already knew. Why does their “boss” feel he needs to go on and on about this topic?
When top-level leaders review something you already know—and you begin to wonder why they feel the need to do this, they’re generally feeling something at the “soul” level. It’s something team members who’ve never had the pressure of a top- level position may not understand.
It’s the feeling a landlord has when talking to a tenant in an apartment complex. While the renter does reside in the apartment, they don’t “own” it. The landlord feels apprehensive about the renter—they may not treat it the same as they would.
It’s the feeling a car rental agency feels when leasing a car to someone. That car belongs to them, and they fear the renter won’t treat it the same way they would their own car. And…they’re probably right. So they put all kinds of clauses in the contract to protect them from harm and irresponsibility.
Five Steps to Take
Let me suggest a few things you can do to assure your leader you’re responsible:
- Once you’re given a task, respond immediately letting her know you’re on it.
- Ask questions during the task’s implementation that show attention to detail.
- When unsure, check back with your leader what priority is most important.
- Show tangible demonstrations that you’re executing exactly what they want.
- Along the way, give progress reports on steps you’re taking. Over-communicate.
Have you been in a similar situation? How did you handle it?