Like most sons, I always looked forward to my visits back home. Like most men, I always looked forward to Mom’s cooked meals. Oh, the good ole home cooking was the best. I long for it today.
What I miss most about my mother is our discussions. No matter what age I was, I could always talk to her about challenges. I have mentioned many times, my mother was the best leadership coach who chose to be a housewife. I am not sure she intentionally knew she was teaching me leadership, but in her loving way she believed she was preparing me for living a life that would have challenges and roadblocks.
There I was, a young manager in a business, and I was discussing with my mom some of the challenges I was having. I explained to my mother on how I believed the business I was managing could grow and achieve success, but that I was having challenges with implementing plans and actions that the employees could complete and drive to success.
Yes, between each bite of her famous fried chicken, I would explain the struggles I was encountering with my managers completing tasks or assignments, or keeping pace with the rate in which I wanted things implemented or accomplished. My mom knew just the way to question me to gain insight. She would ask me, “How are you guiding them and what are you providing for them to understand your guidance?”
Great question, Mom! My answer was vague.
That was when my mother stated, “If you find yourself going in circles, you probably cut too many corners.” Wow, what does that mean?
My mom explained that if I am not creating a complete plan with my managers, the managers and other personnel would then lack direction. This, compounded with the lack of a complete plan, would cause disarray because I would then pressure them to be further along when I did not provide the plan or the steps for them to be at that point. I was causing chaos with my team.
I asked my mom, “How would I implement that process now? That would be embarrassing to admit to my managers that I am the problem.” My Mom was always quick to point out that humility is a strength, not a weakness. She stated that she believes my managers and employees would appreciate the honesty and would even want to participate in the planning. She was always correct with this belief.
If you find yourself going in circles you probably cut too many corners.
This one simple message has taught me so much about leadership and planning. We owe it to those we lead to plan properly, without taking shortcuts. Proper planning will allow us to still move at a fast pace, but will allow us to execute to the fullest.
Thanks Mom, hopefully I will recognize if I am going in circles and realize that I may have cut too many corners. More importantly, hopefully I will plan accordingly to begin with.