If there is one thing I have heard most from the leaders I’ve coached over the last twenty-five years it has been this:
“Why can’t these people just get it?”
Author of Sticky Leadership
I primarily work with entrepreneurs who have big visions and are passionate about making it happen while actively looking for any help they can get along the way. Rarely are their limitations money or other tangible resources but rather the talent and energy needed to put into action their ideas to produce real results.
The secret to leaders getting what they are thinking into the heads and actions of others can evade even the most powerful and charismatic entrepreneurs.
The reason is highly successful visionaries are people of action, and often don’t have well developed processes for transferring what seems obvious to them into the behaviors of others. Add to this dilemma the fact that people are unique in the way they respond to information and directions, have differing communication styles, and you can begin to see why this complaint is so frequent. For you as a leader, getting your influence to stick in the heads, hearts, and actions of others may be one of the most valuable skills you can develop.
I’m not without this frustration myself. What I have learned first hand, has prompted me to study what works in developing a reliable leadership process that sticks. I call it Sticky Leadership.
Sticky leaders practice three important disciplines that make it possible to transfer the fullness of their vision and associated passions to others that create a coordinated action and produces real results.
1. Learn to Love Uphill
Let’s face it, things don’t often go as planned or fit within the initial timeline. It can be frustrating. The daily challenge of facing yet another obstacle, recovering from a failed plan, addressing a shortage of resources, or regaining momentum after a market disappointment doesn’t get sticky leaders down, but energizes them in the uphill climb to fulfill the vision. There is both a psychology and a process to learning to love uphill. Once mastered, it creates a reinforcing loop that keeps us going when others want to quit.
2. Lead from the Inside Out
Second, sticky leaders lead from the inside out. At some level we know it all begins with us. What we do with that thinking is everything. If we lack authenticity in the uphill climb, others will smell our fear or the failure to be real and won’t buy in. My “stickiness” starts with knowing who I am as a person, in the core of my being. This kind of stickiness helps others to mirror much of what the leader does.
3. Create a Game Worth Playing
Finally, sticky leaders know how to create a game worth playing. You know as well as I do that having skin in the game, combined with being critically self-aware and accepting the unanticipated challenges of the uphill journey can create a heavy and (at times) even depressing burden. Creating a game worth playing helps every leader maintain a positive perspective that can make even the most challenging times seem fun.
When you start seeing these three traits working together in your own life — Learn to Love Uphill, Lead from the Inside Out,
and Create a Game worth Playing — you will begin to see real results where you most need a breakthrough.
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What People are Saying about Sticky Leadership
Sticky Leadership offers a perspective on rallying your team around your mission that incorporates an enlightening, and perhaps uncomfortable, exercise in self-examination. The idea that the “kink in the hose” that slows or prevents the realization of our business and personal objectives is, quite often, ourselves. Filled with entertaining stories and anecdotes, Sticky Leadership is an easy read and is, perhaps, the next best thing to having Larry work directly with you and your team.
– Mark Herdering
“Sticky Leadership” is not just a philosophical book, it’s a road map and manual. It is a quick, easy read, but leaves you with specifics from which to work. You’ll have to read it to learn about Mr. Briggs’ “secret sauce,” but it acknowledges a fundamental truth: “Leaders can have no influence over something unless they have a relationship to it.” The book has helped me clarify to what it is I am committed, and how to find a game worth playing.
– Mark Bauer