Take 40 seconds and watch (or more likely, re-watch) this classic commercial.
Well, primarily for a good laugh.
But also because it raises one of the most important questions a leader will ever face.
What are you thinking about? (Or, what are you sinking about?)
The reason this question is so important is that leaders simply think differently than do other people.
At least, growing, effective leaders think differently.
As a younger, inexperienced leader, the kinds of thoughts that tend to dominate the thinking of many people are,
1. How can I advance my way through this organization?
2. What are people thinking of me?
3. Who do I need to impress in order to make a good impression?
4. Am I being adequately compensated?
5. Are people showing me enough respect?
But growing, effective leaders really do think differently. And if you want to lead at your very best then your thinking must increasingly develop along these lines.
1. Are we making progress towards our organizational goals?
2. How are the individuals on my team doing these days?
3. Is the culture of the organization becoming healthier?
4. What do I need to do to protect the best interests of the organization?
5. Are we adding enough value to the people we seek to serve?
6. How can I make a positive contribution to someone’s life today?
7. Where will this organization be in 3 or 5 years?
8. Are we still on course, or has any mission-drift set in?
9. Are we moving at an efficient but sustainable pace?
10. Am I accessible enough to my team?
Leaders who are growing and maturing in their leadership simply learn to think differently.
They’re thinking moves further and further away from self-interest and self-preservation. And it moves further and further towards the needs of the organization, its people, and the people it serves.
So, do you want to know how you’re doing in your leadership? Want to know how far along on your leadership journey?
Start by paying very close attention to one over-riding question.
What are you thinking about?