I recently received an email from a client, and friend, asking me the following question:
“What can I do as a leader to keep folks in the “taking action” mode? Having big plans for the future is great, but life is about “taking action” and it is that part that trips us up. We have positive momentum in place, but we need to put our noses to the grindstone and gut out the “un-fun” parts rather than returning to the status quo behaviors of the past. I guess I am just worried that folks will fall back into their old ways when the challenge of “taking action” tests us. Any ideas on what I can do 1:1 or in group settings to stay on top of this message?”
The essence of my answer: Great leaders have to be continuous teachers. Human beings seldom change their thoughts unless and until they’re exposed to new ideas—hence the existence of schools, churches, and even advertising campaigns.
I recommended to this leader that he educate his people relentlessly—and keep exposing them to personally-applicable material that expands their expectations of themselves.
“Leadership is lifting a person’s vision to higher sights, the raising of a person’s performance to a higher standard, the building of a personality beyond its normal limitations.” –Peter F. Drucker
I shared with him something I would recommend to any leader—whether you are leading a work team or a family—hold frequent educational STUDY GROUPS.
As I wrote my response to this email, I realized that I was re-writing what I have written in my new book, Ownership Spirit: The One Grand Key that Changes Everything Else, and would recommend that you get a copy for each of your people, and then use that as a study group text—everyone reads the same chapter and then gets together to discuss and apply. This has proven to be a very effective means of bringing Ownership into a team culture. The study group sessions can be part of regular team meetings or done on a voluntary basis as a “brown bag” lunch series, open to whomever wants to participate. Several teams from different companies have done it both ways and all seem to work.
Thanks for the inquiry. If you have a question feel free to post a comment here and I will help out!