So if you know me I'm a bit of a talker. I am your classic extrovert. I can't shut up. In fact if you've ever had dinner with me and my wife you might notice how she will lovingly rest her hand on my lap at various points in the meal. As loving a gesture at it is, what you don't see is the squeezing she's doing encouraging me to stop talking. So how does this effect my role as a leader?
When I talk a lot, especially about the issues I see (or as I like to call it, "the mess") I am reinforcing a culture where people are waiting to be told what to do. I'm interested in creating a culture where people tell me what they want to do. As my leadership coach once said to me: "Aleks, Leadership isn't about your great idea."
Did you hear that? That was the sound of a hundred angels singing, because I think I finally got it. I have a lot of ideas. Some of them are even good, but people rarely get excited about your good idea. They get excited about their own ideas, or the role they are passionate about in someone else's idea.
So I'm working on talking less, listening more, and asking for people to share their ideas. Because we all know the most impactful change comes from the ground up and is rewarded from the top down.
So if you're in a meeting with me, feel free to squeeze my leg and remind me to shut up.