It is important to know what you have to offer, as I wrote about previously. However, that is not everything you need to know. At best, it is 30-40% of what you need to know.
Too many times I’ve met with someone who is trying to sell me their services, and all they tell me is what they are selling. The only offer is for me to give them my money.
Every day people connect with me online to sell me services. They is no indication of the impact that they aim to create for me. In one of those conversations, I asked one guy how he would market to people and businesses in transition. He was honest. He had no idea. He said that his firms markets to the titles in an organization.
To fully understand what you have to offer, you need to be aware of three areas that are important.
“It is vitally important that we understand what change is. It is the living, dynamic context of our lives. Every thought, every emotion, every action, every response in a particular moment operates within a change context. Every movement, shift in perspective, or initiative taken happens within the context of change.
Change is so prevalent that we don’t even see it. It is invisible until it becomes toxic or threatening. Then, we see it or feel it so much that we want to get out of it. Change is always present. It is our best friend and our worst enemy.
The skill needed is a recognition that we are always in transition. It is not just a mental note that change is always present. It is seeing precisely what kind of change is happening in the moment. Did I anticipate my clients stepping back from the projects we had planned? I was not surprised. All around me were people I knew whose businesses were in crisis.”
Change is the context of our lives. The question is how do we embrace it.
“It’s time to stop talking about leadership, and lead.”
The voice in my head.
Jackson Hole, Wyoming.
Over the past three and a half decades I’ve lived and worked in the world of leadership. Part of my passion has been the desire to understand the intersection of organizational structure, culture and human nature with the phenomenon of leadership. From early on in my training and study, it was clear that my perception of leadership is different than many who write about it and the practitioners of the leader’s craft.
It is a common thought that life is a journey, not a destination.
We say this because life has ceased to be predictable, certain and secure. It is much more a process of discovering what we need to know right now, every day.
Everyday, traveling along an unknown trail, means that the skills and knowledge we need are quite different than if we never left our home and ventured into the unknown.
As my work has developed over the years, I’ve come to realize that while my work falls into the broad category of consulting and coaching, my real service to people and organizations as been as a guide along an unknown trail of life and work.
What does a guide do?
In 1899, sociologist Thorsten Veblen published The Theory of the Leisure Class: An economic study of institutions. His research marked a growing phenomenon of people separating their personal life from their work life. Veben was the one who coined the often used term, “conspicuous consumption.” His research marked a growing tension between personal life and work life. This tension is at the heart of the quest for balance.
The balance between life and work, I’ve come to conclude, is an impossible standard. It is a measure of time and activity level rather than a measure of the value of either our life or work.
Ask yourself the following questions.
1. How do you know when there is balance between your life and work? Is it a 50/50 split?
2. If you were to achieve balance, what would be different? Is it simply that you would have more time to pursue your leisure time interests?
3. Presently, which side, life or work, is more out of balance? What is it specifically that tells me this?
We live in a world that is in transition.
One of the most significant transitions that we are experiencing is in the nature of leadership.
It used to be that leadership was reserved for the person who was the head of an organization. We knew who the leader was because he or she had a title that defined their role as the leader of the organization.
Since there are only a few leaders, it means everyone else is a follower.
The Relationship between Leaders and Followers is Changing
The relation between leading and following is in transition.
It once was true that great leaders had great followers. However, over time, as the world has changed, we are far more aware of what our leaders are really like. The issue for the follower is ‘Do I trust the leader?’. For leaders, the question is ‘Do I respect the follower?’