Have you ever been around people who get it? Better yet, and more noticeable, around people who don’t get it?
This always baffles me, the person who has absolutely no situational awareness, no clue about what’s going on around them, can’t see the proverbial forest through the trees.
And so what’s at play when this person is the leader? How important is this? When you are trying to lead with positive impact and influence, you have got to see the big picture and lead your team accordingly.
Those that get it are often times those that first put their ego aside and don’t try to be the smartest guy in the room. Now they don’t have to carry the burden of taking all the credit and can now focus on driving their team to its mission.
One of the most subtle compliments I ever received occurred in the summer of 2000 at Camp David. We were preparing for the Middle East Peace Summit and we were meeting with State Department officials and the White House Press Pool. The topic was the walk through Camp David that President Clinton, Prime Minister Ehud Barak and PLO Leader Yasser Arafat would take to open the conference and to be seen live around the world.
There was back and forth debate about who should be positioned where and who should do what. For the most part, everyone elevated their parochial concerns about what they do day to day and largely ignored the bigger picture. No one was wrong, but we weren’t getting anywhere.
At some point after hearing everyone’s concerns and suggestions, I simply suggested, very clearly, where and why everyone should be positioned to make it all work.
The leader of the White House Press Pool, who also understood the bigger picture, but felt conflicted, exclaimed, “hey, Mike gets it…” Now, let’s make this happen. Sometimes the simplest things are the hardest to do.
So, do you get it? Can you step back and let your leaders lead and as needed, you add the strategy and the bigger picture? The dividends and successes can be extraordinary. Just be aware and lead above the fray.