So it’s late…and my wife is upstairs killing a slice of key lime pie. Better the pie than me!
To suggest that she is not pleased with me would be an understatement. We have enjoyed a great long weekend with the kids! As is always the case, our home started to look like a frat house after a good run during pledge week. This is what happens when we convince ourselves that we are a borderline bohemian family! I think we have adopted this lifestyle in a bid to justify our want to procrastinate! Truth is, our kids (Elijah 7, Summer 5 and Nate 4) are not bohemian but rather regular, normal kids who suffer from severe short term memory loss when we ask them to put their apple core’s in the compost, put their Mr. Freeze tubes in the garbage, not leave their BMX helmets in the middle of the doorway etc. If you have kids I apologize for preaching to the choir! You feel our pain!
Now, I was tired and a tad impatient which is not the best time to remind me that as the adults we may need to stop playing the role of entertainment director to our kids and begin preparing for what will be a very busy summer! Preparations began with attacking the in-house to-do list. A to-do list that I have been avoiding like an opponent tries to avoid a Mike Tyson punch. It will inevitably sock me right in the kisser (not in a literal sense) so I might as well just bite the bullet and get to work because she is right. Yes, any rational man would do so…or would they? Again, did I mention I was tired!
Yes, she was right. Indeed, we needed to get back to reality and create some structure at home. Yet, rather than agree with her…I chose to fight it. It was a no win but like a tempestuous, impatient child I didn’t want to win…I just wanted to disagree for the sake of disagreeing! For no other reason than I was tired. I was the dad and I was right (at least in my own mind but in the deepest recesses of my mind I actually knew I was wrong!). Shhh, don’t tell Pamela!
Now when I say “fight it“, I mean I still washed the bathroom floors (our 4-year-old believes hitting the bowl is optional!), began to purge the basement, re-claim her office space that had become our 4th toy room, and did some dishes but I did it all while applying the silent treatment. Now that is leadership! (not).
Leadership or co-leadership is not easy. Never has been…never will be. There are days when the last thing you may want to do is lead! There are times when you want to sit in the back of the bus and watch the street blocks go by! There is nothing wrong with that. Just let the other driver know.
Understand that there are times when you need to be led. Accept being led by another is not a bad thing. Sometimes you need to let someone else grab hold of the steering wheel. Sometimes you need to let someone else look at the map!
So, tonight I find myself needing to re-set my intentions. I am still tired but no so much that I can’t take the time to look in the mirror and remind myself to practice what I preach!
Leadership is not about one person sitting atop the mountain enjoying providence over all but rather an open journey that is built on a foundation of trust, patience, communication and respect. Self-correction is key to your success. Without it, you fall into the trap of simply repeating the same mistakes!
Leaders who do not take the time to look at themselves honestly in the mirror as a tool for self-evaluation are destined to fail. Often times the only one to hold a leader accountable is the leader him or herself. It doesn’t matter if you lead a team of 500 or a team of 5!
Tonight, I will look in the clean mirror (thanks to my work earlier this evening), evaluate my performance and learn from it.
Sleeping on the couch also serves as a great reminder of my need to improve my game! Isn’t it poignant! I am now wide awake and can’t sleep! I should go tidy up the garage!
Ken Evraire is an award-winning leadership coach and team builder. As a former professional athlete, he has learned a from great coaches and learned even more from the bad ones!
To contact Ken email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.