Hard truth alert: you are NOT that important, and you are NOT so busy. This is where I may lose some of you because this hard truth forces us to check our ego, which is something many will not do. Hence, the precious commodity that is the ego-less leader.
Is the ice bath a metaphor for being in the moment in life? No. It’s a reality. When you can get to a calm, comfortable place in an ice bath because you are focused on only what you are doing in that moment, suddenly it isn’t so hard to recognize when you are “multi-tasking” and doing two, or more, things badly.
I believe my reflections on fear explain why I get so emotional on Memorial Day. It reminds me that our fallen felt fear…but they went anyway. They had thoughts about the consequences of going…but they went anyway. They realized the consequences of going could alter, and end, their lives…but they went anyway. They realized recognition and praise for what they were about to do would go largely unrealized…but they went anyway.
Be sure to pat someone on the back for a job well done. Ask about your employee’s kids or pet. Host a team lunch to build camaraderie. These are all good things, but they are not the basic elements of leadership. They won’t prevent injuries, to stay with the metaphor. Poor performance is the most painful leadership injury and to prevent it we need to do the basics.
DOING is where the inspiration comes from. We must get comfortable with being good at being bad initially. But we must start DOING to find our inspiration. And, no, not just once or twice. Over and over until it becomes a habit. Finding inspiration is actually hard work because it comes from the DOING.
Showing integrity and doing the right thing is only part of the integrity equation. This is because we are human and we all make mistakes. So, if the culture you are propping up in the name of integrity is that you never make mistakes, then there is a problem. The ability to be honest and admit your mistakes is every bit as important in the integrity equation as simply doing the right thing. Because honestly, admitting a mistake is the right thing to do.