Seriously, are You Ready to Start Leading?
Compare Bungy jumping with leadership? Yeah, most people take the jump a lot more seriously. Understandable. On the other hand, we often deliver weak leadership for years and pretend there's not crash coming. But when a disruption occurs, weak leaders get washed out.
Directions for bungy jumping: 1) find a good operator, 2) verify the operator, 3) re-verify the operator, 4) sanity check and double check gear, 5) don't the first to jump! Result: All Good.
Directions for leadership: YOU are the bungy operator! No checks at all. Result?
Over years of working with lots of highly qualified tech professionals, my verify-the-operator findings are mixed. Most already have leadership responsibilities. But their skill inventory often has gaps:
- Domain expertise? CHECK
- Process understanding? CHECK
- Collaboration and coordination? MOSTLY CHECK
- Handling Meeting issues/ topics/agenda facilitation ? WOBBLY
- Presenting mission and roadmap? AWKWARD / WEAK
- Handling bad news and re-alignments? STRESSED & HESITANT
- Handling crisis? RUN AWAY!
- Managing up? WORDY and INDECISIVE
A mixed bag. But a surprising number of "senior" directors and exec's have limitations and friction.
If your meetings even slightly resemble this gathering, you're losing power. Let's talk!
In other words, are you set to excel or just hold down the position? More concerning, are you already in charge and struggling?
Where is this going? Ask for help. Colleagues, bosses, books, blogs. AND perhaps a coach.
And, if you're in the Silicon Valley area, consider a live workshop event. A live workshop gives you peer feedback and a direct read-out of your level of comfort and skills in the leadership chair. Don't be "that guy" who lets team energy drain away and decisions drag!
And bungy jump safely!