Learning to Lead

A large portrait of a smiling man is surrounded by other portraits of diverse, smiling people.I attended the Second Nature podcast on “Team” vs “Staff” with Alex Osenenko and Todd Ortscheid and expertly facilitated by Andrew Smallwood from Second Nature. An interesting debate that came out of Todd’s observation that too many times he speaks to leaders that attend conferences and are excited about an idea but then say they have to get “buy-in” from their team. His position being they are employees in the company you are leading and in part, they are paid to be loyal to the company and support its direction. So, in other words, when you’re the leader, why can’t you just say “this is what we’re doing, follow me or go home.”

Well, many times, that can work. But it depends on context. If the company has a deep record of success and people are well cared for and everything is rolling, a lot of the time, everyone is happy to march forward with you and you can get good results. And as long as you keep choosing the right path everything is great. But the first time you step on a landmine. Or wander down the wrong road. Watch out. Things can change fast.

Sometimes getting buy-in can really help. It can even be a superpower driving everyone to tap personal passion and commitment in a way that you telling everyone what they’re going to do just can’t match

Getting buy-in doesn’t mean you are not leading or deciding. You are but you recognize that learning to use skillful means to earn people’s commitment may be the thing that really ignites and supercharges your vision in a way you hadn’t imagined.

Learning how to lead a group to work together is an art form. Most of us are just novices. Claude Silver at Vanyermedia is an expert. I can’t wait to hear her speak at PM Grow.

Come join us. Work hard, have fun.

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