During my recent training in Orlando, Florida with the John Maxwell Team, I was a participant in a program called Get My Rhythm conducted by John Scalici. The workshop featured African Drums and a huge range of percussion instruments, all of the 250 participants had one.
The workshop was conducted this way. The big African Drums provided a steady beat.
BOOM. BOOM.BOOM.BOOM. The beat rang out over the assembly. Once the beat was established, the percussion instruments were all brought in to play the rhythm as determined by the person playing it. While many wouldn’t have believed it, the group played beautiful music. We created music when I was guessing we would create chaos.
There were many lessons involved here. We created music and not chaos. We had leadership, unspoken and clear. we had engagement and we had fun while achieving.
But…..for me the biggest lesson was one of that beat. John described it as our heartbeat or our pulse. And when we went off rhythm (which we did) we started again by focusing on the pulse. That steadying back beat drove the music and we knew what to listen to and stay tuned to.The music revolved around the beat.
My takeaway from this was strong and I now raise these questions with my clients.
- Who creates the heartbeat or pulse of your business?
- Who creates the heartbeat or pulse of your team?
- Who creates the rhythm?
- Who creates the beautiful music?
It is my belief answering these questions is vital for any business leader. Let me elaborate.
The heartbeat has to be set by the leader or business owner. This becomes that steadying influence within your team or business. The heartbeat is the vision; the heartbeat is the direction; the heartbeat is a place of comfort from your team that they know and engage in. The heartbeat is the vibe of the business. The heartbeat is the culture of the team. The heartbeat is vital for your leadership and your results.
The leader needs to set the heartbeat. The leader sets the pulse.
The rhythm is created by an engaged team, empowered within the guidelines of the heartbeat (the vision, the direction, the culture of the business). Train and engage your team and watch them make beautiful music, knowing that if they stray, they will come back to the pulse. They come back to the steadying influence of the heartbeat. Do you allow them to create the rhythm?
Right! The problem is many leaders believe they are the best people to set the pulse and the rhythm. They believe they are the best person for the job. They don’t empower, engage or train and end up with a disengaged workforce, thus supporting and re-enforcing their own actions. How dangerous is that?
In some cases the leader sets the pulse, but confines his team with stringent process and complicated systems designed to deliver consistency of operation, but limiting engagement and best possible practice initiatives. The music may be audible, but never reaches the “beautiful music” stage. How limiting is that?
In some cases, the leader is weak, the team directionless and the pulse or heartbeat is set by others, whether this suits your company needs or not. How dangerous is that?
So where do you fit? Do you have a leadership pulse? Who is setting it? Does your team know?
Do you have a business heartbeat? Do you have a vision? Is the heartbeat known by the team? Is it a thing of comfort for them?
Reflect on your leadership pulse? Time to revive it!
Tony Curl – leadershiplifeandstyle.com.au
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