Today, I reminded a team of leaders they are waiting too long to act. They have a leadership problem and they are it. The problem is showing up in their front line leadership but it doesn’t start there as so often is the case. The problem begins, in this case, with the lack of written accountability throughout the system. Performance metrics are inconsistent and only in writing when something goes wrong. Today, as their builder, it was my job to shine a bright light on this uncomfortable fact. My heart rate quickened, I could feel myself tighten up, my armpits began to dampen, and my brain told me to just keep my mouth shut and take their money. Tell them the truth? Not so much. Nothing inside me wanted to hurt these men or make them feel less. My job, I reminded myself, is to make them good; feeling good, not so much. So, after a handfull of minutes where everybody avoided the obvious, I told them the unvarnished truth as best I could. After a number of questions and a number of commands to “write what you heard,” clarity arrived. The three leaders agreed to three good productive actions of their choosing.

I asked a few more clarifying questions and walked out feeling good knowing I had done good. Today, this system’s leadership made some decisions to put some tougher standards into their leadership process. These changes will be in wriiting in the next few weeks and communicated through the leadership team immediately thereafter. As I drove away to my next practice, I took the time to call a new builder in the making and remind him of the hardest part of becoming a virtuous builder. Actually, I asked him to tell me what he thought the hardest part would be. I didn’t tell him. I made him think. He nailed it. “The hardest part,” he began, “has got to be telling your client hard truths.”

What hard truths is your system avoiding? What hard truths are you avoiding? What hard questions are you not asking? What hard feedback are you not letting in? What hard disciplines are you waiting for someone else to make you do? Build anything, lead anything and you are going to be limited by your ability to get to the truth and hit your friends, teammates, and loved ones with the hard truths limiting their performance. Everyday a builder faces this fact. Today, it went well. Later today, it may not. Builder, get comfortable being uncomfortable here. Good…

By | 2017-06-07T12:10:20+00:00 April 8th, 2016|Uncategorized|0 Comments