Did you ever get one of those calls from one of those friends? You know the kind I mean. They mean well, but they don’t even know they are doing it. . . They have this beautifully simple habit of making you feel just a little smaller than you did before they were on the phone. Oh it guises as constructive criticism or feedback but you just can’t figure out why they can’t give it to you with out you being completely frustrated. I mean you have friends that can be honest with you but these people just can’t seem to deliver the message without you wanting to kill the messenger. Is it you or is it them? Well, it depends, and here is why. How much time do they spend trying to understand where you are at and why you are doing what you are doing? Do they hear you and understand? If they don’t, it is probably something they need to work on. They have not mastered the art of connecting to lead, to relating to where someone is at and going there themselves. Understanding their perspective and path before they past judgment. They only stand on a mountain and cast down from afar their assessment as they see it. As if they were Moses coming down from the mountain.
The problem with this type of leadership is it really isn’t about leading, It is about feeding the ego of the leader. That person giving the feedback may have great advice and assessment of the situation, but it really doesn’t matter if you or the followers don’t believe that the leader cares. It becomes a contest of how much, how big or who is more righteous.
Leadership is not a contest. It is about having a mission to make the people around you greater than you. You never get that done until you understand what they want and where they want to go. If you don’t have someone you can point to that you committed to make greater than you then you probably don’t get this. That’s OK, it is very big concept and not for everybody. You may do some great things in your life but your Achilles heel will stem from that commitment to drop your agenda for a second to get to place to understand someone else’s. Even more to support theirs even before your own. It is a tough challenge, but you can do it. If you do, you will get the right, a very important right, to give advice.