Top 10 Leadership Blunders: #2

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Top 10 Leadership Blunders: #2

Encourager-In-Chief: November 20th, 2019

Not equipping your people.

Have you ever heard the phrase GI, G0? It stands for: garbage in, garbage out. It’s a phrase that was used when people started using computers. In other words, you’re only going to get out of a computer what you put into the computer. That’s often how I feel when it comes to technology. If you do not specifically tell me how to do something, my brain will probably not figure it out on its own. Fortunately for me, this becomes a very valuable quality when I coach. It helps me to see when things are unclear.

When I work with a company, my contact will often show me exactly what they expect someone to do. I know that if I can’t do it, there’s a good chance the person there expecting to do it will also have trouble learning.

What most leaders do not understand is that things that have become clear and second nature to them are still foreign, confusing, and even intimidating to someone brand-new.

Last week, I was in Florida attempting to take an 89-year-old woman (who is a friend of my mother) to Mass. I followed the directions and wound up at the church. The building was locked and, after some time, we saw a nun the property. I asked the nun if Mass was going to be held that morning. She said yes, but it is at the seminary. She proceeded to give me the directions and followed it up with the obligatory, “you can’t miss it.” One thing I’ve learned in life is that if something can be missed, I will miss it.

We left the parking lot and followed her instructions. I turned right and the road ended about 300 feet ahead with steel posts in the road. We turned left, which was the correct way. She said to turn right at a Hess station. The gas station was actually a Speedway station. She said just go down the road 3 miles and turn left. The street we were looking for was 5 miles down the road. Fortunately, we made Mass at the correct location with no time to spare.

The point is, we frequently give instructions thinking we are being clear when all we are doing is being confusing and frustrating to the listener. Please take the time necessary to show the person what you expect them to do. Watch them do it. Correct them as needed until they can complete the task correctly and repeatedly. Then, and only then, have you done your job as a leader to equip your people.
Leadership and learning are indispensable to each other.
- John F. Kennedy

This excerpt is taken from my Leading with Integrity seminar.

Become A Leader Worth Following


I encourage you to order my Become a Leader Worth Following audio program, which also covers this lesson in much greater detail.

Become a Leader Worth Following


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