A few years ago I did a very deep dive into human motivation.
And I came up with two handfuls of mud.
Nothing particularly insightful or helpful.
So I spent a year running cold water over it.
Which finally revealed some hidden gems.
One of the most surprising and surprisingly useful insights is this.
Leaders are simply guides.
The root of the word “lead” means “to go forth, to travel.”
A leader’s job is to paint an inspiring picture of the future.
To help people align their skills and passions around getting to that destination.
And to help them feel engaged, safe and supported during the journey.
Why is this so hard to understand?
A friend forwarded me an article from The New York Times.
An opinion piece titled “Why You Hate Work.”
It was the #1 most emailed column of that day.
Dig deeply enough into it and you’ll discover today’s leadership problem.
It’s not a lack of caring.
It’s fear and anxiety.
Leaders are lost in the desert, confused and disoriented.
Marching their troops to nowhere, in a blazing hot sun.
Obsessively measuring each and every step.
And praying that they bump into an oasis.
Instead of moving to higher ground, to a new vantage point.
Instead of getting everyone searching for a wellspring of invigorating new business.
They’re drying up and burning out.
It truly is very sad to watch.
And a nightmare to experience.
“Fear stifles our thinking and actions. It creates indecisiveness that results in stagnation. I have known talented people who procrastinate indefinitely rather than risk failure. Lost opportunities cause erosion of confidence, and the downward spiral begins.” – Charles Stanley