Help me serve in a way that helps someone be THEIR best, not MY version of what’s best.
-Mary Pat Knight, Journal Entry November 7, 2013
Control is the safety net of any business leader. Or, rather, the PERCEIVED safety net. We are taught through example and through experience that it’s better to control the outcome than be controlled by the fallout. We desire autonomy and authority and to be the captain of our own ship yet fail to acknowledge that others feel that same way.
As a leader I’m so SO SO tempted to know what’s best with certainty. Unfortunately, my certainty can lead me down a path that hasn’t been fully lit. Has this happened to you? We are certain that we know…and when we run off chasing the outcome, more information shows up in unexpected ways. Fearing that we will be jarred off course, we carry on and negate the new wisdom.
Maybe I should be using “I” statements as I’m assuming you think and see as I do.
Riley DOES know what’s best for him.
That’s the issue – at least for me and I am feeling maybe for you, too….We want to help our team, our families, our volunteers, our employees be their best. Good leadership. The filter needs to be cleaned, though. Because often what we think is their best is not best at all…it’s only what we believe in our limited certainty. As a wise leader, we can do so much better to understand what is best – from their point of view. Our wise observation co-mingled with their own inner knowing creates an alchemy. It can only happen in a trusted place of curiosity.
For me, the next time I’m certain I know what’s best for you, I drop that shield of control and simply ask you.