Goals

My husband and I recently bought (leased) a new car.  And we had the opportunity to buy the car from my son.  While it was amazing that we got to watch him work, what really struck me was his ability to set goals.

He showed me his calendar where he had written down what days he would buy a car and showed that on those days he did indeed sell a car.

This got me to thinking as leaders do we set goals for ourselves?  I know sometimes I don’t set goals because I am afraid i won’t hit them, but so what! So what if i don’t hit my goal, WHAT IF I DO?

As leaders we are always leading those around us but do we take a moment and set goals for ourselves?  Goals can be big or small, but if we set small goals then we aren’t challenging ourselves we aren’t really pushing our selves to be better!

This week I am going to set some goals for myself, some big some small. I am going to write them down and I am going to set dates for those goals.  I challenge you to do the same! Set some goals for yourself and see what happens in your life!!

In over your head….

When we bought our horse last summer we had ZERO idea what we were doing.  For the seasoned horse people out there (I know deep sigh).  We got super lucky in landing at the barn we are at and finding a community of people who are helping us navigate the world of owning a 5yo Gelding.

As leaders we will find ourselves in similar situations where we hire someone or take someone from another team either not realizing just how poorly managed that person was or we think that it doesn’t matter WE must be better than the others in managing that person.

In the horse world you have a few options when you are in over your head, you can sell your horse (or give it back where you got it from), you can simply give up and ignore the issue OR you can find someone who can help.  We got very lucky in that our barn owner/trainer is that amazing horse trainer who get’s it and is there to guide us on this journey or we’d have one very unhappy rider and 2 very scared parents!

As leaders we can’t simply give an employee back, we can put them on a performance plan, but let’s be realistic those are simply paths to firing.  Or we can ignore the bad behavior, however this puts our team at serious risk when other employees find themselves having to take over for this one employee.

We do have a 3rd option and that is simply to admit we are in over our heads!  Find a trusted mentor and ask how they might solve the issue.  Ask for their input on what changes can be made to allow this person to be successful.  Of course there are times when we only have the option of a plan or letting someone go and those aren’t necessarily terrible ideas. However, what if I challenged your thinking into seeing that there might be another option.

First you need to admit you are in over your head.  This can be the hardest step but your success AND that of your team are at stake!  Next find someone you trust and tell them you are in over your head, let them know what you’ve done, what you are seeing and ask how they can help or what they see….

Finally LISTEN! Don’t immediately brush aside their advice. Ask questions, ask how this has solved issues in the past.  Get details on who to implement their ideas and ask if you can continue to meet to discuss the progress.

This process means you have to humble yourself and admit that you need help which isn’t easy but I can promise you that YOU will be a better leader because of it.  You may not be able to save the employee but you will save your team and YOUR team is going to respect you because you stood up to the problem and found help to solve it!

Keep learning my friends

Investing in the next generation

I had the most pleasurable experience (insert sarcasm here) of buying a car this weekend.  This process as most of us know is NOT fun, it is long and tiring and frankly why can’t this process be better?  However, I did get to buy the car from my son, which was an amazing experience!

My son is 19 going on 20 and has found a passion selling cars.  This child has strong leadership gifts. He often is the one taking charge and leading others.  However, as we all know simply having leadership gifts does not make us leaders!  We need to invest in our up and coming leaders and help them to grow!

Saturday I got to meet the people who are doing just that!  (Shameless plug coming up!!) The team at Fair Oaks Ford in Naperville has seen potential in this 19yo kid and are investing in him!  From the GM to the Finance guy, they all made a point to talk to us about our son.  I got the chance to meet his manager and I like him!  He isn’t going to go easy on my kid and he even said that he will get on him at times!  However, the way he does it shows that he understands the potential and is willing to put in the effort.

Now, if my amazing, wonderful child screws up well he’s going to have to deal with the consequenes and this isn’t an easy path, however if he’s willing to stick with it he could have an amazing career!

This whole experience made me start thinking about how are we investing in that next generation.  For many of us, we are Generation X we graduated in the 80’s and 90’s we didn’t grow up with cell phones and technology.  We are now leading a generation that doesn’t know rotary dial phones or manually changing a channel on the TV!  However we want to lead them like they did!

We simply cannot lead this way, we have to figure out how to connect with this generation and we have to invest in them!  They are the next generation of leadership and it is our job to raise them up! We have to learn to speak their language via social media, text messaging and others.

This week think about how you are leading up the next generation.  Talk with your team of leaders and talk about how you as a team can lead this next generation!

And for all of you here is a picture taken 2 years ago of my son coaching!  For you who are parents, encourage your kids to take those leadership opportunities on!!

joncoaching