As a leader drives the car of leadership, each individual on his/her leadership team acts as a mirror, reflecting what is happening in their segment of the business. Each team member contributes a unique perspective – their view of the surroundings, blindspots, and the vehicle itself. Each of these perspectives contributes to the overall success and safety of the journey. The rearview mirror might be the CFO. The side mirror, Operations. Sitting in the passenger seat might be Sales & Marketing…not exactly a mirror but certainly a unique perspective, with a single-minded focus on the future and the upcoming landscape. A successful trip involves access to, and reliance on, all of a leaders’ mirrors.
Yet, I often find leaders who feel the pressure to drive alone. Not relying on their mirrors. Expecting themselves to have the total view. It’s pressure they put on themselves. Silly, isn’t it…the idea of getting into a car and driving without the use of your mirrors?
Leadership Challenge: Gather your team and head out to your corporate parking lot. Cover all of the mirrors in your car. Drive (slowly!) and attempt to navigate the parking lot…nearly impossible! You’ll find you won’t get too far. It’s too risky. Not safe. Reflect on how many times you instinctively turned to look at your mirrors! Then, roll down your windows – have your team outside the car, walking alongside, providing direction. Let them guide you…as a team. Not one single team member has the total view. It is a combined effort. Trust them to see things you don’t see. Trust them to highlight potential dangers. Trust them to help you navigate.
Trust them to help you drive.