I am not a history buff; however, I have grown to appreciate the stories behind the dates as I’ve gotten older. Recently I rewatched Band of Brothers, a miniseries about the Easy Company as they fought their way through World War II. I am reminded how young men of simple, ordinary backgrounds were called to do extraordinary things for their company, their platoon, their country, and the world. Day after day the extraordinary acts of bravery and selflessness they carried out are beyond what most people can comprehend.
In particular, as I watched this miniseries, I was struck by the incredible leadership of Capt. Dick Winters who led his men with seemingly no fear. However, it is inhuman to be without fear. One of his men interviewed was baffled that he made it through the war alive. How could someone display such incredible heroism and never back down, yet still be alive? Capt. Winters was a phenomenal leader; not just because he stayed alive, but because of how he lived and how he led.
Sometimes as leaders we wonder if we are good enough. We struggle with knowing whether we’re hitting the mark. We wrestle with self-doubt and insecurities, which inevitably impacts the way we show up. Yet, it’s a valid question to ask: How are we leading? First, we need to know how we measure success. What values do we hold that would define successful leadership to us and to our team or organization? How do our actions line up with those values?
What kind of feedback would your team give you? Are you afraid to ask for feedback? Straight up, I have had leaders tell me, “There is no way in hell” they are going to ask for feedback. Why? Because as leaders we become afraid we may not meet the mark; the struggle bus is real. Then, as the leader, we have allowed fear to lead us. Not healthy. We have to dive into the battle of fear, run into the possible fire of feedback, and know that we are going to become stronger warrior leaders as a result. Is it worth it? Always.
In reflecting on your leadership and the approach you take with your team, there are some important questions to consider. I challenge you to take some time to process through these questions. It can be difficult to create solitude, but in creating the solitude we can potentially eliminate some unhealthy patterns. The ripple effect is big. Part of stepping into the next level of extraordinary is taking the bull of busyness by the horns and putting it in the stall for a minute.
What feedback are you getting? How often are you asking for feedback?
How are you supporting others?
What is the trust level among your team?
What is the unity among the team?
How difficult is it to get buy-in regarding new ideas?
Do people feel safe to try new things even if they might fail?
Are you willing to accept more blame and let others have more credit?
Are you willing to face confrontation even if it’s uncomfortable?
How are you pursuing consistent growth?
Are you empowering others?
Is your team growing as individuals and as a unit?
What else could you be delegating?
What other ways can you be calling others up as the experts?