Saturday, April 13, 2013

The Leadership.Fog

There are days when leaders just aren't with it.  Their mind is clouded with so many things that they can't seem to find their way.  Pressure and stress cloud the leader's vision and blind him or her to the upcoming obstacles that would normally be seen.  To make matters worse, difficult people or situations can make the leader's path virtually disappear, thus slowing down progress.

Let's be realistic.  Fog is a natural phenomenon.  We are amazed each time that this cloud comes to our level and frustrated when it slows us down on our journey down the road.  Fog will come.  It will slow us down, but it will eventually disappear.  So there's no need to freak out when fog enters our leadership world.

What can we do to get through the fog?

Focus on your Vision

When their view is obscured, leaders must reflect on what their purpose for leading is.  Reminding yourself of what you are really trying to accomplish will help you push through the fog toward your destination.  Focusing on your own vision is like turning your headlights on low, slowing down your car and concentrating on the road directly in front of you.

Own your Reality

 When problems abound, leaders often lose sight of where they are on their journey.  They forget how far they have come, and the fog of problems can cause negativity and cynicism.  Relax.  Life is really not that bad.  These problems will eventually evaporate as long as you wait for the sun to come up.  Own the reality of your progress, and believe in the work that has brought you and your leadership to this current location on your path of success.

Give Thought to Causal Factors

Fog is a great thing because it forces travelers to slow down.  In leadership, we need to slow down.  Use the fog to analyze the cause of its arrival.  What were the precipitating factors that caused the fog in the first place?  Was there a communication break-down?  Was a key person left out?  Is this situation something that has not been addressed in your policy?  By giving thought to causal factors of the fog, leaders can pinpoint the source of the fog and eliminate it from occuring in the future.

Fog is a natural necessity in our world.  It is something that we learn to live with.  But as leaders, we should move beyond that to make it something that we learn to learn from.  I hope you slow down and enjoy the fog the next time you encounter it in your work.

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