“Coming together is a beginning;
keeping together is progress;
working together is success.”
Obstacles can seem insurmountable when we’re tackling them alone,
but together—they turn into exciting challenges.
Recently I’ve driven regularly through the lower kettle-moraine of Wisconsin into the Lake Geneva area. It’s a picturesque drive of rolling hills and during the recent thaw – the valleys were occasionally hidden in fog adding a surreal look to the countryside. The area is home to a great deal of wildlife that shares the lakes and forests with the folks who live and work there. During my drives, I have noticed a great deal of activity along the side of the road by two types of birds, crows and hawks.
The hawks are beautiful to watch as they sit high in trees and on power poles and other high structures scanning the area around them for prey. On occasion, I’ve been witness to a dramatic dive as a hawk captures its next meal. They are the picture of a spectacular solitary effort for survival.
The crows on the other hand, are always in groups. They congregate along the road working together to find food and they’re always in constant communication with each other. They rely on one another for their survival. You can always hear them communicating even when they are out of sight from one another.
The workplace can be a similar place. There are those who are out for themselves and there are those who choose to work together. The loners are easy to spot and well known by their coworkers and those that report to them. They don’t share information, take credit when it should be shared and they often don’t explain the reasons for their decisions or requests. These workplace birds occupy a perch that isolates them from their coworkers. Their search for success is made all that much harder by their choice to hold others at arms-length while expecting them to commit, comply and cooperate.
The communicators take a different approach. They share as much information whenever possible to keep folks in the loop providing reasons and data for their decisions and when they make work requests. More importantly, they listen to those around them and solicit feedback using it to make good decisions. You’ll find these workplace birds surrounded by a flock of others who feel part of a team and are willing to follow their lead. Everyone shares in the successes.
As you read this, I know you know where I’m going with this. Communication is essential to being a successful leader. It builds buy-in, shares the limelight and provides recognition for all involved. How do you fly in your workplace, alone or surrounded by others who want to follow and be successful. As the next quarter begins, think about how you will lead. Will you try to soar alone or, communicate with those around you to give everyone a bird’s eye view of the common cawwwws and what you can accomplish together?
Next month: Wants, Needs and Reality