Tenacity, perseverance, drive and dedication are all power words that can be used to describe great leaders. As a people we tend to not give up so easily. That drive has helped us to achieve great things over the course of history. The term “give up” conjures feelings of failure and no one likes to feel that they failed or to have given up.
In leadership, our egos are often our own worst enemy. Our ego prevents us from seeing the error of our ways. We find that we ask ourselves and our staff to try harder, this cannot fail, this idea, my idea is the best course of action or I want it done my way. Our ego blinds us to the reality that we are merely practicing the definition of insanity. Or we start to think we have the wrong people on the bus. An effective leader stops their ego from keeping them on the course that will lead to failure.
The reality is that we have tied our staff’s hands behind their back and put blindfolds on them. There is no possible way we or they can find success with those types of sadistic restraints. This is a perfect storm for failure. As a leader who caters to their ego, it won’t be viewed this way. It is doubtful that you will even realize your ego is getting in the way.
When you recognize that you and your team have been trying harder and are getting no closer to your goal, spend some time reflecting on why. If you keep coming to the conclusion that your path is the only way that has been tried, check your ego. It just may be that you have restrained your team from trying something different. Once you come to this realization and are able to admit it, try something different. Be open to their suggestions and thoughts on the path that should be taken. The road they choose just may be the one that leads you to success. It also may be the path of least resistance.
This isn’t necessarily a message about giving up on an idea although some ideas aren’t meant to be realized. This is a message about trying something different to accomplish the idea. There are many paths to take that will allow you to arrive at the same result. Don’t get hung up on your path especially just for the sake of it being your path. What is important here is that the time, resources and money invested in the idea are not wasted. Trying harder works to a point, when trying harder isn’t working try something different.
The next time you think to yourself “we just need to try harder” maybe what you really need to do is to try something different.
Share your stories of when your hands were tied behind your back by your leader or a time when the restraints were removed and you were able to realize success in the comments below.
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