Leading Where it Counts- Moving from the Periphery to the Core

Like Don't move Unlike
 
0

A few weeks ago I traveled with Bill Hybels to Brazil where Bill addressed some 1200 officers in the Brazilian Military Police Force.

The event was a special Global Leadership Summit, designed especially for Brazil’s military personnel.

As I took in this scene a huge leadership truth hit me; this room was packed with leaders who go way beyond the periphery of leadership.

The periphery is where things are exceedingly pleasant, unhurried and without much pressure.

But it’s in the leadership core where things get heated. That’s where these military leaders devote their time, as do all high-impact leaders. It’s where hard conversations take place, where the stakes are high, and where difficult decisions must be reached.

So, how do you move from the periphery to the core? Here’s a good starting place…

1.       Recognize the signs of peripheral leadership

Leadership on the periphery involves such low-stakes activities as,

  • Writing reports
  • Organizing and re-organizing
  • Exchanging pleasantries

Each of these duties has their place in the life of a leader. But don’t be fooled into thinking that impactful results can be produced here. Effective leaders will move in and out of the periphery as quickly as possible.

2.       Resist the seduction of peripheral leadership

Here’s the reality.

Peripheral leadership feels good. It can occupy a leader’s time in a way that feels productive and at the same time non-threatening.

Sometimes after a season of leadership ‘heavy lifting’ such dynamics can feel exceedingly attractive, causing someone to linger a bit too long.

But having recognized the tell-tale signs that you might be stuck in the quagmire of peripheral matters, resist the lure to remain any longer than necessary.

3.       Plunge headlong into the high-stakes world of core leadership issues

If you’re finding the conversations are leading towards decisive action, you’re moving towards the core.

If the decisions carry a bit more risk, you’re moving towards the core.

If the outcomes align with your goals, you’re moving towards the core.

Keep moving in that direction.

Some time spent in the periphery is inevitable.

But as quickly as possible start heading back towards the core.

That’s where the impact happens.

How do you keep away from peripheral leadership?

the author

Scott Cochrane

Vice President- International, Willow Creek Association. Love Jesus, Nora, Adam & Robin, Amy, Dave & Willow and John, Fiona & Will. Lifelong learner.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *