The message today is short and sweet. I know I’ve said that before, but today I really mean it. I really have to mean it because as is my usual my weekend plans include more than I really can get done in one weekend. The irony in me saying that with my “outside voice” is that my experiences over the last couple of weeks should have taught me that setting realistic, attainable goals is important. So, while I did make progress by recognizing that “smart” goal setting is optimal, application of life lessons remains a challenge for me.
I have spent the last two weeks completing instruments designed to evaluate my personality type and the process by which I reach outcomes. All of the processing was great, but the trick is not to overthink any of it. I learned that many of the things I do well come natural to me. I learned that most of the time my personality traits compliment the processes used to reach outcomes, especially in my professional life. During all of the surveying, I realized that in my professional life I have more freedom move fluidly through the quadrants that define my personality than I do the quadrants that define the typology of how I process decision making to achieve an outcome. The last two weeks of analysis, introspection, and evaluation affirmed that blindspots exists for all of us and that there is benefit in identifying those blindspots. Not only should we identify the blindspots, we need to proactively create methods to protect yourself and others from your blindspots.
At the end of the weeks of surveying myself, I owned that I have big dream potential. The big dreamer sees big pictures and often chases the outcome without thinking about the details of the process. Who needs process if you can get to the outcome? Well, the truth is that I know that process and attention to details matter even if paying attention to details is not my natural inclination. I also know that I don’t always focus on the details because I don’t always understand the intricate parts of the big picture I drew in my head. Who needs to know all of the details in order to dream? Not me. I recognize that this is a blindspot so before I get too far down the road chasing the big picture I seek advice from trusted, knowledgable advisors. Most of the time I convince the advisors to help me develop the plan of action and hang around to remind me when it is time for me to act and remind me when it’s time for me to carry out part of the process. I call my advisors “handlers.”
Having “handlers” means I find people who are not just like me in practice, but just like me in their level of passion for reaching outcomes beneficial to the whole. They are strong in those areas in which I am challenged. Their strengths afford me support and a greater potential to be greater than I ever could have been without them. So, while I work every day to build healthy, supportive villages for young people, I work to do the same thing for myself. My “handlers” know who they are and they know that I value them. I am not a genius without them and I will do everything I can do to offer then support, encouragement, and empowerment that meets them in their areas of challenge.
My advice to my audience today is this:
Don’t be embarrassed by imperfection or limitations.
Don’t let your ego make you miss a chance to celebrate the strengths of others.
Don’t let your fear of admitting that you have a blindspot and risk allowing something to sneak up on you and take you off course.
Find your blindspots. Then, find some folks to guard those spots with cautious, attentive, constant professional oversight.
Remember that the most successful leaders find ways to involve others who can enhance the community. Excellent leaders also find ways to encourage, empower, and enlighten their “handlers.” Excellent leaders create a village of strong, supported, confident, productive village.