Nonsense At Work

#104: February 2016 MindShift

Nonsense just is,
but sense must be uncovered, grasped and held tight.The NonsenseAtWork Monthly MindShift


February 2016

Leader Makes Gut “Pick Me!” Honeymoon

To be a leader, be a leader

No-footprintsSo, you want to be a leader? Then be a leader. It’s that simple.

However, there’s just one little problem. How do you define leadership? Let me ask that again. How do you define leadership?

Unless you are clear on what being a leader means, you cannot present yourself as a leader. Yet, the only way people will notice that you are a leader is if you act the leader.

Your boss can give you any title in the book, but not the title of leader. Your organization can give you the power to manage, but not the power to lead. Permission to lead comes from subordinates, not from superiors.

So what is leader to you? List the characteristics that you believe will boost collective energy and performance. Authentic? Insightful? Credible? Trustworthy? Fair? Supportive? Accountable? Drive? Consistent?

Then behave that way. Soon those who agree with you will follow your lead.


Flowing with change makes you the odd lot for sale

odd-lot-unchangedLeadership is often, very often, about change. So let’s change how we look at change to see if we can change our attitude to change.

Change is always about decision-making. You decide to accept the change or to fight it. Alternatively, you decide to make a change happen or you unmake a change already happening.

We tend to use three decision modes. You can go with the flow, go with your gut or go with your intellect.

You can resist change at work because your rational mind tells you to, or because your experience tells you to. These are acceptable reasons for fighting change, because you will at least develop an understanding of the change.

But it is risky to resist because you don’t want to go with the flow. Now you will not bother to understand the change and thus you will not understand the outcome.

You will be the unchanged odd one. And odd lots are always for sale.


Deciding when to flow with your gut

think-with-gutDon’t let all this neuro-brain research fool you. We use only three types of decision-making strategies and we use them at different phases of life.

When in doubt, you can go with the flow, go with your gut or go with your intellect. In other words, you can do what is easiest, what feels right or what makes sense.

Kids tend to go with the flow because its carefree, mature adults tend to go with the gut because of experience, and young adults try to appear rational because they crave credibility.

I have reached the phase of life where I am experienced enough to go with my gut. But I’ve run into an unexpected problem. The more I use my gut, the bigger it gets and the more I want to go with the flow.

Why? Because I want to be a kid again? No, because it is less strenuous.


Patient people in long lines to “pick me!”

wethepeopleDid you see those pictures of the long lines of people patiently waiting to . . . vote?

Well, if this was Africa, specifically South Africa, then those could have been photos of people waiting to vote in an election. But this being America, those people were lining up to buy lottery tickets.

So it was a silly assumption I made when looking at those photos. I should have remembered the last time I voted in America. There was no line of patient people. And the officials far outnumbered the voters hoping to vote.

In assuming that the people in the photos were patient voters, I became aware of another culture difference between my birth country and my adopted country.

In South Africa, people willing stand in line for hours under the hot Africa sun to pick their leaders. In the USA, people willingly stand in line for hours thinking, “Pick me! Pick me!”


Every day you can blame your 90-day forgiveness honeymoon

90dayhoneymoonWhile we’re on the topic of “Pick me!”, is there really a 90-day rule? According to this rule, the success you enjoy today is not the result of what you do today, but of what you did 90 days ago.

So, if, like me, you did very little 90 days ago, then you will enjoy very little success today.

Yes, the 90-day period is the same time frame as the three-month honeymoon period. During this honeymoon, a newly appointed person, such as a CEO, is allowed some leeway to find her feet. Minor mistakes are readily forgiven.

I don’t care whether the 90-day rule exists, or whether it should be thirty days or three. Nor do I care about the length of your honeymoon.

What matters is when forgiveness and blame trade places. Forgiveness is the passion during the honeymoon and blame is abundant after 90-days.

But guess what? Another 90-day honeymoon starts every morning.



Would you like me to help you start another honeymoon?



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