Leader of the Leader – Slacker’s Don’t
When he was in the Army, he was an officer assigned to the S-3 section of our Cavalry Squad. S-3 is the “Planning and Operations” section of everything that happens in the Squad. We plan almost everything from flag details to battle plans. I was the S-3 assistant and a Major was assigned as our OIC.
Well, a new Major was assigned to be the OIC for this unit. My job was to bring him up to speed on everything that was happening. While doing this, he began to belittle all the plans that were underway. He was critical of several of the plans (which were also approved by the Squad Commander). That was “clue # 1” that there would be trouble.
About six months after his “command,” I noticed that he was trying to ride the high points, making sure he was seen as the one in charge. But when it came to the last few nights before an important report or a trade order to get ready, he was nowhere to be seen. Even during maneuvers, he would have an excuse not to spend so much time in the mud with everyone else.
One day I guess it was showing to my face. A colleague came up to my desk and told me, bluntly, that everyone (ie command staff and line officers) knew that “I was the one in charge of the S-3 store” and that ” keep your head up. I was counting on your support. ” That made me feel a little better, knowing that others were also seeing what I was observing.
How does that help you?
In your business, if you are the “leader” then you must be there when things are getting dirty. When your subordinates are in the middle of an important project for their “team,” YOU should be involved, too.
Next, don’t worry about plans that are already in the works. If you need to provide additional guidance, please do so. But don’t rule out all plans, especially those that are underway in their implementation! If you weren’t there to “make the call” when necessary, support your supervisors who had to make the call in your absence.
Finally, never, never, NEVER accept praise and praise for a job well done. You must, at all times, praise your team and give your team credit for every victory. EVERY WIN! Yes, you may have jumped and saved the day … but the credit for the victory goes to the TEAM. Every time!
If there is any blame for a poorly performed task or job, never, never, NEVER blame the team (and especially never point the finger at a team member) or a supervisor below you. You, as the team leader, must accept full responsibility for every failed task related to your team. Each!
“Well that sounds irrational! You shouldn’t have to accept responsibility for something when someone else clearly failed to do their job!”
“Yes, you should!”
Most people will know that it is not your fault. But if you stand up and take responsibility for the poor performance of “your team,” you will increase your credibility with those who see you and your team will begin to develop more loyalty to you. By running interference for your equipment, they will start to generate interference for you, but doing a better job.
This really works! Some people take years to realize what I am sharing with you.
Why does this work?
Because it’s called “being a leader.” Don’t fall into the category of leaders who just want recognition and for people to see them give orders. Don’t fall into the “I tell people what to do, and they do it” trap.
Instead, work with your team. Become one more member of the team. Someone they can count on to make the “right decision at the right time.” Someone they know will back them up if things don’t go well. Someone they can look at and try to emulate.
Leader of Leader – Slacker’s Don’t!
Don’t be lazy!
BE A LEADER!