“No matter what, we don’t stop, we keep moving forward”
When I first took up my role as a Practice Lead , I went hiking with my immediate boss. On this particular day, it was quite chilly in Longonot and so it would be quite challenging. However, we were determined to climb. So my boss and I set out to hit the top, make one lap round then come down.
As we began, we had a series of conversations with him some of which revolved round the challenges I have faced thus far and those that I would be facing. In a way, I was taking up a path he had walked for long (Both literally and figuratively ). In the midst of our conversation, I was getting quite exhausted and so I believe he figured this, so I decided to ask ” NK, Could we slow down a bit?” he responded with “Sure (Pause), no matter what, we keep moving forward”. Three lessons I learned on Leadership:
Know your Team and their environment of engagement
As a leader, you ought to be fully aware of your team. This applies to individuals and not a generalization. Aspects like the team Morale as well as any challenges they are having delivering their core responsibilities. Creating and fostering relationships with each member of the team is critical for success. Like my boss, he was keen to understand from my request to take a break that I was losing morale, as such, he didn’t dismiss it but found a more effective way to address it. He says “Sure ” this is affirmation, he understood that being my first attempt at Climbing Longonot, I would have challenges, just like a first time manager, then he proceeds to say, “no matter what, we keep moving forward” -Encouragement, with a clear goal in mind – The Summit!
Inspire Through Clear Vision, Goal and Commitment
As a leader you must have a clear Vision and Commitment. Great Leaders are committed to their course and ensure that their team members understand and see that commitment from them. Through Commitment to the Vision and Goal – which for us was reaching the Top, as a leader I must find ways to inspire and motivate each member of my team. “No matter What, ” this statement shows his commitment to the vision. He was aware of the challenges, but with a strong will, he sought to assure me that we will “keep moving forward” that we never lose sight of the goal or mission because of challenges.
Be clear on what we won’t do
As much as a leader is clear on what we will do, a leader ought to be clear on what we as a team and hi or her as an individual won’t do. It is NOT success at whatever cost. As a leader, your character is always on the line and whatever you do, is under watch. This doesn’t mean you cannot make mistakes, however, mistakes must just be that – Mistakes. “No matter what, we don’t stop,” It was clear to me and to both of us, stopping was not an option. We would rather slow down but keep moving forward. However, we don’t stop. Dag Hammarskjold, once remarked ” Never “for the sake of peace and quiet” deny your own experience or convictions.” A leader must be a man of conviction.
In summary, as a leaders, we have the responsibility to inspire our team members to become more, learn and do more. We can only do this through conviction and commitment to the clear vision that we have defined. And no matter the challenges, we always keep moving forward.
“If you can’t fly then run, if you can’t run then walk, if you can’t walk then crawl, but whatever you do you have to keep moving forward.”~ Martin Luther King Jr.