Traversing mountainous regions by bus is challenging.
The twisting and turning of the roads can make you gasp – with both excitement and fear..!
With the arrival of dynamite, we found ways to tunnel under the high peaks, allowing us speedier passage as we get from A to B – but at the same time robbing us of the wonderful vistas and learning experiences along the way.
Once we climb to great heights, it is only when we turn backwards that we realise how far we have come, and appreciate both the view and the progress.
At the beginning of the journey, some people want to jump aboard our vehicle – excited at the prospect of the final view and the final rewards.
Are they just passengers..?
Somewhere along the journey, some people realise that the road to the peak is not a motorway – it is not a straight line.
It is a mountain road, with twists and turns, ups and downs, exhilarating straights and (sometimes) terrifying u-bends.
And their commitment drains away, just like a waterfall down a mountain side.
For these people, this realisation moves them to jump off the bus – and leaves them stranded by the roadside, often complaining about the road, the bus, the driver, or the time it is taking – and sometimes they make up other nonsense as a way to justify their “escape”.
And so it is in business…
Successful Business Leaders have a vision of what they believe it will be like at the top of the mountain.
They don’t always have all of the answers about the correct way to get there – in fact, for most successful entrepreneurs, they don’t even know all of the questions, let alone the answers.
What they do have is an approach with an open heart and an open mind – an honest approach, where the final solution may not be their own solution, but it is the best solution, created after discussion with others.
To find out both the questions AND the answers, the best Leaders will embrace their teams, and involve them in the discussion. And, based on their input, will then make a balanced decision, blended in with many other factors.
Of course, for some of our “passengers”, the very act of involving them in the discussion to find the best way forward can increase their thinking that “the driver doesn’t know where they are going” – and so prompt them to leave the bus (or business) just as the views start to open up some wonderful scenery.
Often, as they jump off the moving bus, they will scream warnings at the top of their voice to those still on the bus, and yet fail to acknowledge the wonderful scenery that has started to open up around them. They are then left stranded and alone at the roadside, but continue to scream warnings at other passers-by, as the bus continues on its way up the mountainside.
[ WARNING : It is easy to take their comments personally – after all, they are attacking your new “baby” which is still in formation. Put on your thick-skinned jacket. Don’t get distracted. Keep your eyes on the road ahead. Remember that your business cannot afford to carry “passengers” – unless they are fully paid-up clients, of course..! ]
5 Lessons for Focussed Leaders
There a few key lessons for those who aspire to become Focussed Leaders of a successful business…
(1) Know your own VISION and what success looks like (the view from the mountain top). Share that vision with those all around you – on a regular basis. And don’t forget to share it with YOURSELF too – do it DAILY..!
(2) Be open to reviewing the best strategies and processes to achieve that success, for the benefit of yourself, your team and the community in which you live. Discuss it with your team, interrogate the internet, and read, read, read,
(3) Allow people to get off the bus at any time if they do not continue to “buy into” your vision and your strategies. Wish them well as they go, and then move on, keeping their voices in the rear view mirror as you continue your climb up the mountain.
Make sure that you recruit mechanics in their place, not passengers.
(4) Keep looking FORWARD – the opportunity lies ahead of you, not behind you.
(5) Stop at regular intervals to take in the view – everything around you has two results…
Celebrate both regularly, and compare them with your Daily Vision.
Remember – you are the driver of the bus. Don’t take your eyes off the road..!