It’s been a year now since our family took a vacation to an all-inclusive resort. It was the first time the boys had ever experienced anything like it – and when you tell a 15 year old and 10 year old that they can not only do every activity they can dream of for free, but they can eat and drink all day long at any of the 22 restaurants….well, let’s just say they loved the vacation! One of the things I love is the opportunity to try new things without guilt or obligation. I allow myself to be a little more adventurous when the cost has already been covered.
I want to figure out how to translate that idea into my leadership. Sometimes I get very comfortable leading in the style I know best. And while things are working well, I may have no idea what I’m missing out on by not trying other things. Here’s where it gets tricky – figuring out how to do this in a way that doesn’t cost the people I lead. I have a fear of failing at their expense.
Unlike at an all-inclusive resort where you don’t have to pay extra to try escargot or the mango/spinach/diatomaceous earth smoothie, there can be a high cost to changing the way you lead.
How can you minimize the risk while still seizing the opportunity to lead differently?
I don’t have it figured out, but I am working on doing this myself.
Be open with your team.
Being open with my team is the first step. If I tell them why I am changing and what to hold me accountable for, they can be prepared to help me succeed. Or they can help the team thrive despite a failure.
Evaluate the season.
First I must evaluate the season that I am in as a leader. Then I must evaluate the season that my team is in. The purpose of both is to determine if it’s the right time to try something new.
Give yourself permission to fail.
If I don’t admit that failure is a possibility, and understand that the best growth comes from lessons we learn when we fail, I will never give myself permission to try something new. I don’t know about you, but I am my harshest critic, so simply giving myself permission to fail is a life-changing decision.
Trying new things can seem pointless, without reward, and can even make you squeamish.
But you will never know the reward if you don’t take the risk.
On vacation, the boys decided to try the sushi restaurant. They were both very skeptical and hesitant. Turns out, they ate there multiple times, and came away with a love for sushi. As a result, our family has a new ritual together. Just last week we took the boys out for a sushi lunch – and ate our weight in rice and vegetables and raw fish. I’m so glad they had the courage to try something new.
It’s time for me to figure out what my “new” is going to be.
How can you try something new in your leadership?