Drive on! Lead on!

Much like the new car, owners of business who drive their enterprise are tested everyday on their navigational skills. So what is more important is the fact that they are polishing their crown of glory as the owner or their ability to navigate.

Many can relate to the feeling of elation when they have inked a deal on a new set of wheels, the smell of a new car is intoxicating to the ego, the glow of the new paint oozes into the pores of the owner and they themselves begin to also take on a new special glow beaming with pride as the new commander and chief of their new vehicle.

There is a special posture they adopt at first while driving, especially at a red light when their new car is the first in line, ready to put the pedal to the medal when the light turns green.

Confidence pours through their veins as they consciously pretend that they are not aware of other drivers nearby who may be checking them out in their new car, or glancing over with just a hint of envy.

As the light turns green, the car proud driver pushes forward, sometimes taking advantage of their perceived lead in the traffic or sometimes at a slower pace as if they are rehearsing a victory lap at the Olympics. They are in charge.

As the car speeds along in full regalia they remind themselves that they are the master, totally in control of the moment.

That is, until they approach the next set of lights and realize they are now in an unfamiliar part of town, within an abrupt forest of signage urging them to get into the right lane or the left one with no alternative. The GPS system blinks on and off and then just shuts down, and as they remember the battery charger to their own personal phone is at the office.

Immediately the adrenaline of fear shoots through their body as they realize that while the euphoria of being the King of the road the past twenty minutes has been amazing, they are now lost and have to make a decision that will impact their ability to be on time for their next appointment.

Their swift reactions keep them from being struck by a massive 18 wheeler as they seek safe harbor behind the lane riddled with a thousand other cars.

It’s too late to navigate to the other side of the highway to avoid the bottleneck, the empty feeling of being lost and helpless overtake the feeling of elation they were high on moments before.

Much like the new car, owners of business who drive their enterprise are tested everyday on their navigational skills. So what is more important, the fact that they are polishing their crown of glory as the owner or their ability to navigate.

Just as there are too many show offs on the road and not enough good drivers, there are more Crown wearing bosses and not enough leaders who know where they are going.

So how can bosses become good leaders, and how can they transfer their new skills to their business?

First of all, its not possible for all bosses to be good leaders if they think they are already a good leader because it says so on their business card.

To become a great leader, it takes more than just a will to a better leader, it firstly takes keen vision to understand the important journey ahead.

Imagining the road ahead is an important step, but without the passion of really wanting and desiring to get there for a big enough reason, it’s a childish wish.

Planning the journey ahead of time is a big step in pre-correcting mistakes in navigation before hand, to avoid taking dead end roads that often lead to lost time, lost resources and put them at risk of running out of gas.

After the plan has been understood, pooling the resources that will be required is paramount to having any chance of entering the winners circle.

If they have a business that will rely on employees keep the vehicle running smooth, they had better trade their whip for refreshments and rewards if they do not wish to keep stopping along they way to replace a member of the team who did not appreciate being bossed around.

No one likes being bossed around, anywhere, ever. Are you a boss that wears the badge of look at me I am in charge, or the one that people would gladly follow because they know you care and will care for their welfare?

As the driver of the corporation, good leaders realize who they are taking along for the ride, their passengers. These stakeholders such as suppliers, customers, employees and investors all have entrusted their futures  into the hands of the person behind the wheel. Does that mean that you might want to fire the boss?

If altering your leadership style means trading inspiration for humiliation it might just get you a lot more votes as the leader.

Simply  wearing the crown of ownership is not enough anymore,  people need to feel that you know where you are now, know where you are going, have studied the road ahead and seen the obstacles including the valleys and the steep hills you will be required to overcome.

They need to feel that while you are sitting in the drivers seat that you  have their interests at heart and will be a responsible caretaker of their trust that
they are investing into your company everyday.

One of the most important elements in a GPS map used in navigating the road ahead is : “ Where are you now? “

This realization will help any leader course correct if they have the courage and humility to be ready to take responsibility for their journey including admitting taking a wrong turn sometimes.

Leaders are given the choice everyday to understand where they are now, whether it be their position in the traffic or in the boardroom.

Companies that have taken the time to audit the leadership skills of their team and have gone a step further to develop them will often surpass the ranks of the competitors. In study after study, organizations that grow their Leadership IQ and EQ stand a very good chance of being at the pole position of their industry represented in the top 20% amongst their peers.

While it is true that some people seem to have a natural flair for leadership, a flair is not an eternal lamp. Good Leadership can be developed and good habits can replace the show off boss mentality for a great leader with vision, empathy and passion who has invested in their Leadership Compass for the future successes of their team.

Before you take off, glance into the rear view mirror to see the where you have been, but more importantly take a moment to know where you are and from there plot a brave new course to get your business going forward.

About the author

Michael Tolan

Michael J. Tolan is a speaker, writer and corporate mentor and board advisor to several organisations. He is the creator of Mission I’m Possible series of motivational workshops through FirePowerLeadership.com and is the Chief Inspirational Officer of the World Class Academy of Excellence (Follow him on Twitter @worldclassgroup).

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