Guys, this week I have a confession to make. I have not been the best leader this week, and I hope Tasha is not reading this. As many of you know, at Emerge, we are a growing company, which means that we have a lot of decisions to make. Here’s the thing: sometimes I want to tell my team what to do because I think I have all the answers or the best answers.
Here’s the thing about that. My team knows that I am the co-creator of one of our signature courses called Your Leadership Foundation. Guess what? They’ve taken the course, so they know the stuff I’m supposed to be doing, and they know when I’m not being the best leader.
Let me tell you what happened. This week, we had a team meeting and we had a lot of decisions to make about strategy and things of that nature. I really pressed my agenda on them in terms of how I wanted to implement a new strategy. I didn’t ask questions. I pretty much just told them what we were going to do.
Guess what? They totally called me out. They said, “Are you going to ask us what we think? Where is this part in Leadership Foundation where you just tell us what to do?” So, major facepalm.
Now, here’s what’s so amazing about this (I hope that this part really gives you hope if you’re a new leader, or you’re just stepping into your leadership shoes, or if you’ve been leading for a long time): it is completely impossible for us to be a perfect leader.
We are going to make mistakes. We’re going to do things incorrectly.
But here’s the good news. It’s not about how many times we screw up. It’s about our come back rate. That’s the really, really important part is the come back rate because we’re going to mess up.
When we realize that we have been a total &%$! (you guys all know what I’m saying), guess what? We simply go to our team and we say, “Guys, I’m so sorry that I pushed my agenda on you, or that I didn’t ask you your thoughts,” or whatever it is that you’ve done. We simply go and say, “I’m really sorry. That wasn’t the right thing to do, and it’s so important to me to get your thoughts, ensure that we’re in this together, because you are super valuable, and I want to make sure that you know that.” It’s really just that simple.
I’m going to be going and doing that with my team today and just letting them know, “Guys, I’m sorry. I was just a jerk and I really want to get your thoughts. And, you know, I messed up.”
The other thing I want to do is teach you something that is going to help me stay on track and it’s something that I teach my leadership students. It’s really simple. When we go into a conversation with our team members, we remember A.S.K. You can write this down on your desk just like I do.
A – Active listening. This means listening to understand, not just jumping in with our thoughts.
S – Shut up. When you want to jump in with your thoughts, don’t do it, ask another question. The reason that this is important, is because of the K.
K – Knowledge. When we ask questions and we listen, we gain more information.
This is absolutely critical to ensure that our team members feel understood so that we do understand them, and so that we make good decisions as a leader, gain their buy-in, and create a really strong team culture. it’s so important that we pull ourselves back into those basic things that we need to do.
In my decade of leadership, I continually pull myself back to the basics, because I find myself making mistakes and then I know I have to go back to the basics. Those are the basic things that we teach in the leadership course.
Don’t worry, guys. My come back rate is pretty good, and yours will be, too.
What I’d love for you to do is after reading this is to just make a comment. Is there anyone you need to come back with? Is there anyone that you need to reach out to and just acknowledge that you may have made a mistake? Because it really is just that simple. When we humbly say, “I made a mistake,” we teach our team members to do the same thing. I’m interested to hear your stories of how you acknowledged that you made a mistake and admitted it to your team.
Thanks for reading How To Recover From a Leadership Mistake. To sign up for one of our free trainings on closing, recruiting, or leadership, you can go to EmergeSalesTraining.com/freetraining.
I hope that you guys have an awesome day.
– Karen Hammond