Friday, August 10, 2012

Light Switch Leadership

Lightbulbs are everywhere. Incandescent, LED, florescent, flood lights, spotlights and even strobe lights all serve one distinct purpose, to illuminate the world.

They range in power required to work properly. From 40 W to well over 1 million, light bulbs use energy to make our world a better place. And when more light bulbs come together within the same fixture, our world gets even brighter.  It's pretty neat what an awesome variety of light bulbs there are and how they serve such unique purposes. 

Sadly, it doesn't matter how many light bulbs we have, let alone how many different types there are.  If the light switch is not flipped on, they are virtually insignificant.   Leadership is the light switch. It is the empowerment each light bulb needs to do it's job. It is the encouragement that everyone needs to illuminate.

Whether we like it or not, leaders are constantly flipping the switch on or off. Our actions, words and attitudes are either flipping the switch on or flipping the switch off for every light bulb in our building. We are either stifling or stimulating growth. 

So as we walk into our buildings each day, we need to ask ourselves this one question. Am I closing the circuit, or in other words am I building strong relationships, so that every person in the building can illuminate the world.  The answer won't be hard to find. We just have to look for the light bulbs that are out and find a way to close the circuit. 

We can close the circuit when we:

  1. Listen intently
  2. Involve all
  3. Genuinely take interest in all ideas
  4. Humor others
  5. Team with all members of the organization

We open the circuit when we...

  • Devalue with our actions
  • Intimidate with our title
  • Manipulate with our words

The lights are on, but is anyone home? If you want to light up your organization, you need to check your own switch first.

How do you flip the switch to engage the people you lead?

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