Updated from May 25, 2015 post
My leadership trip in Mexico continued this week with a day spent with some of our Global Leadership Summit partners from this region.
One common characteristic of these leaders that struck me immediately was their focus on leading where it matters. These are leaders who understand that, for leadership to be effective, it must be applied at the very heart of an issue, not out on the edge.
As I wrote in this earlier post, this means leaders must learn how to move away from the periphery, and move straight towards the core.
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?