Monday is Seth day. Dottie and I spend the day being entertained by our 4 year old grandson, Seth, or “Luke Buddy” as he likes to be called (Luke Skywalker is his current hero). For me, it is a day of hunting the bad guys with battery powered laser guns, followed by an hour or so of wrestling. My 67 year-old-body is worn out but happy when the day ends.
The bad guys hide in every closet, behind and under the bed, in the bathrooms, refrigerator, oven, etc. Seth takes the lead and I’m his back-up as we clean them out one at a time. Usually we have to do it more than once—they have a way of coming back to life. They remind me of the challenges and problems that leaders face on a regular basis. They hide everywhere and are hard to kill. The leader has to revisit the closet on a regular basis or bad guy thinking, culture, habits, values and personal agendas will sneak back in. By the way, it helps to have a back-up. Hunting the bad guys by yourself is a lonely and exhausting job.
When Seth says, “Let’s wrestle,” it’s game on. He comes from every direction—fearlessly, relentlessly. He has me in a headlock one minute, is riding me the next, then tackling me and counting: One…two…three…out! None of my holds are effective. “You can’t get me,” he hollers. And of course, I can’t (or don’t). If you are in the business world, your competitors are like Seth, coming at you from every direction—fearlessly, relentlessly—trying to count you out. If you turn your back on your competition or customers, it’s over before you know what happened. That’s why leadership is a 24/7/365 job. It’s tiring, but it’s worth it, because when you win, you’re happy when the day ends!
The Bottom Line: (1) inside the doors, visit the bad guy hiding places on a regular basis and make sure you have a back-up, and (2) outside the doors, stay alert to what is going on with your competitors (don’t let them sneak up on you) and your customers (don’t let them sneak away from you).
"The best way to lead people into the future is to connect with them deeply in the present."
Kouzes & Posner