A few afternoons ago, I had just arrived home from the grocery store. I pulled into the driveway, popped the trunk, and proceeded to load all 14 grocery bags onto my arms. As I waddled toward the door, my husband popped out and asked if I wanted any help. My response was, “No – I’ll manage.” I did manage to get all of the bags into the house and onto the kitchen table. But that was all I was able to accomplish.
I wasn’t free to hug my son who came running to see me. I wasn’t free to close the trunk, close the garage door, or pick up the mail on my way in. I did manage to kick the door to the house closed with my foot. I managed to accomplish exactly what I had set out to do, but I missed out on several other opportunities on the way.
Managing gives the suggestion that we are stuck at the “good” level without being able to reach the “excellent” level. It doesn’t mean things aren’t being accomplished – there ARE things to celebrate. But we are just getting by – we are never progressing to greater things.
By contrast, when we are leading, we are influencing others and going before them (or with them!) to accomplish what has not been accomplished before. Instead of being satisfied (or just ok with) where our team is, we want more. More for ourselves, more for our team, more for the people we serve.
Are you just managing with your team right now? Are things running well enough that you aren’t failing as a team? Celebrate that! But then ask yourself if that is where you want to stay.
Are you ready to start leading your team to new heights? I want to continue to lead my team to accomplish more than any of us can even dream of – I’m done saying “I’ll manage”.