How healthy is your leadership pipeline? Do you know who would replace you if you left tomorrow? The question of leadership development and continuity is an ever-present challenge for organizations in any industry.
Self-preservation occurs when you obsess about protecting the things you are afraid of losing.
Your job. Your authority. Your salary. Your bonus. Your title.
Your carefully curated image.
The silent underminers of influence. They take us to a dangerous precipice of misattribution and blinded action. On the surface, they seem solid and reliable. After all, the very definition indicates a certain level of certainty about a conclusion, whether based on past experience or ignorance of additional facts and perspectives.
Assumptions Undermine Influence
But it’s that foundation that makes assumptions so dangerous. They often lead us to make hasty, misinformed, or potentially offensive judgments without seeing the true situation clearly.
If you look back at your own journey, it will probably surprise you how many leadership snafus or personal mistakes have come from misplaced assumptions. Success, greatness, breakthrough, liberation, and overall personal or relational peace are all at risk when we assume.
So, because a “Stop Doing” list is just as crucial as a “Start Doing” list, here are 20 things you should refrain from assuming in the future (in no particular order).
20 Things to Stop Assuming
- Don’t assume it’s a simple task and others should just “get it.”
- Don’t assume asking for help will harm your credibility.
- Don’t assume gossip is accurate! Better yet, just stay away from gossip. (Tweet This)
- Don’t assume if they read “this” book, they will change.
- Don’t assume they don’t feel entitled to all that you give.
- Don’t assume your awards, your numbers, and your things prove you are a great leader.
- Don’t assume everyone will love you if your plan succeeds.
- Don’t assume your idea will motivate others if you haven’t taken the time to know them.
- Don’t assume they won’t value your view or opinion.
- Don’t assume their annoying behavior will go away on its own.
- Don’t assume they are ready to jump on your objective without a “good morning” and cup of coffee first.
- Don’t assume their intent based on their Facebook post.
- Don’t assume your family sees how much you love them based on how hard you work. Tell them.
- Don’t assume your kids love it just because you do.
- Don’t assume they’ll just say no.
- Don’t assume your vote doesn’t matter.
- Don’t assume they won’t embrace the card, the letter, or the apology.
- Don’t assume things will never change.
- Don’t assume you can’t start over.
- Don’t assume you’re in good health. Be proactive, manage routines, and go to the doctor.
Oh, there’s one more.
If you just skimmed this and assumed none of them pertain to you, you better read it again.
Wishing you all the best!
This was originally posted by Dan Frey, Senior Associate with GiANT Worldwide, and I wanted to share it here as well.
If you’re interested in learning more about how assumptions can affect your leadership, we’re happy to schedule a meeting to discuss. Just click the contact button and let us know!
“I just did something very selfless. But more importantly, it was genuine & I know it means a lot to the person in the longrun #soworthit”
If you’re like most people, you might be scratching your head after reading the above statement. Unfortunately, as self-congratulatory as it sounds, that’s a real quote from a twitter post.
Fortunately, thanks to hilarious storytellers in the golden age of television, we even have a word coined for what you just read – in fact, the person who posted that message literally gave us the definition of a “humblebrag.”
Sometimes the best investment you can make at work is to step away from it for a while. To get out of the daily grind and make time for rest, peace, and recharging with family, friends, and reflection.
In fact, we would all love even just an hour of this time every day. When we take some time off during the day, we call it a break.
When we do it every week, we call it a weekend.
And when we do it for an extended period of time, we call it a vacation.
Each of our leadership styles are framed on a foundation shaped by personal experience, nurture, and learning. We have all picked up good and bad habits from those who have led us and we inevitably learn certain leadership skills in school, through informal reading, blogs, news, etc.
Have you ever thought, however, that there may be different foundations of leadership?
Different philosophies that take you in different directions?
Have you ever heard someone, maybe even yourself, say this:
“If they’re not for us, they’re against us?”
It was an early morning, dark with a glint of frost in the air. John was quietly packing up his briefcase for another week’s trek through the jungle maze of traffic on the way to his downtown office, careful to not wake up his family in the process… Read more
There’s an old saying I’m sure you’ve heard:
“All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.”
It’s safe to say all-work Jack is rarely accused of being the “fun” friend or the adventurous, life-of-the-party friend. If he’s not working on a deadline, he’s preparing for the next one as well as the next one after that one.
The All Too Familiar Scene
When he’s home, Jack’s wife and kids can’t get his attention very often because he’s always on to the next task. He’s surgically attached to his smartphone, and the last time he made eye contact during a conversation was when his phone was broken as he pleaded, wide-eyed, with the repair technician, “I can’t live without my phone – I’m going to lose my job. How long will it take to fix?!”
But Jack’s an extreme case, right?
Surely, you’re not guilty of getting stuck in the same 4th Gear rut … or are you?
Take this quiz to find out:
4th Gear Quiz: Answer yes or no to the following questions. Be honest!
- You consistently start your day with email, and that means before getting to the office. In fact, it usually means before you have breakfast or see your kids off to school. Okay, let’s be real…for some of you it means you’re already halfway through the day’s emails before your feet hit the floor on your way out of bed…
- People notice you are obsessed with tasks.
- Achievement is the chief goal in your life.
- There are no boundaries on your time.
- You feel separation anxiety when you lose your Wi-Fi connection or can’t check email.
- You are constantly drained and never feel fully charged.
- It takes a lot of effort to get into connect mode (2nd Gear) or social mode (3rd Gear) with family and friends. Or maybe you “pretend” to connect by sitting with your spouse to watch tv, but end up mostly keeping an eye on your email.
- Your mind is always racing and you struggle to get consistent sleep.
- Your spouse, kids, and friends know tasks come first. They expect you to respond to invites with the classic, “I can’t go. I have to work.”
- You are physically present but intellectually and emotionally absent. (See number 7 above).
- There is a lot of activity, but no real sign of progress.
Tactics for Shifting Out of 4th Gear
If you answered yes to any of the above questions, you might be stuck in task mode, or 4th Gear as we call it. What we’ve learned is that if you answer “yes” to one of these questions, chances are high that you will have said yes to more than one, and where there’s smoke, there’s fire.
There’s also hope, however. If you’re stuck in servitude to the daily grind of task mode, here are a few helpful tips to get healthy:
- Replace email in the morning with something more inspirational — whatever helps you come alive. It could be reading, meditating, exercising, or starting the day with family breakfast.
- Be proactive, not reactive. Don’t let someone else define your day in an email or phone call. Actively prioritize your day and goals rather than allowing every email to blow your schedule about like a flag in the wind.
- Discipline yourself by turning off your phone, or leaving it behind, when you are off work or in a 2nd or 3rd gear environment. This will help you remain presented and connecting with those around you.
- Teach your family the 5 Gears sign language so they can help you shift when they find you grinding gears and unable to transition out of the task (4th gear) or focus (5th gear) modes.
Ultimately, our advice is simple: don’t let work dominate your life.
Learn to shift and be present with those in your life who matter most. A balanced life of meaningful investment in yourself, family/friends, team, organization, and community ultimately leads not just to a healthier, more joyful life, but also a more productive one. And that’s the goal that keeps you stuck in 4th gear in the first place, right? So why not give it a shot and try shifting gears for a change. We think you’ll like the results.
To learn about the 5 Gears, visit: 5gears.com/book.
If you’re interested in learning more about how task addiction and the 5 Gears can affect your leadership, we’re happy to schedule a meeting to discuss. Just click the contact button and let us know!
Do you have wholehearted people in your life?
Who do you know that is fully in or completely devoted to something? They’re the type of people who, as Thoreau once put it, “suck out all the marrow of life.”
The GiANT IDEA