A few weeks ago, I talked about the power of moments. The interesting thing about life is, we don’t remember everything, every moment, instead we remember certain moments. And we tend to remember the good or the bad bit of any given event, and the ending. This is known as the ‘peak end rule’ which I touched on a few weeks ago in my blog “Define your moments”.
It’s this concept of life being a series of defining moments strung together that also shapes how effective a leader is.
A good leader is defined by lots of little moments
Good leadership doesn't come about because you do one big thing. Good leadership is the result of lots of smaller things. It’s when we string enough good defining moments together that you get a great leader. As leaders, it’s easy to focus on creating big moments, like giving the best speech at the end of year get-together, exceeding sales targets or achieving the best financial results.
The reality is, we sometimes neglect opportunities to create exceptional and memorable smaller moments. Instead of getting carried away with achieving big things, try to remember that leadership is defined by how we handle the small, mundane moments. It’s important to recognise what these small moments are. They are everyday conversations and interactions you have with your team and colleague at work that you might otherwise neglect if you're not paying attention or are too focused on the achieving the big things. How we show up in the small moments has a huge impact on our leadership and how we're perceived.
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder and the effectiveness you have as a leader is based on the perception of the people you are leading. A defining moment in their eyes, may be the time you took to unexpectedly praise their work efforts in the corridor in passing, it could be the time you took to take the team out for an impromptu lunch to thank them for all their hard work. A defining moment could be picking up the phone to talk to someone in your team about a project you are working on rather than sending yet another email. How you handle an unexpected challenge can be a defining moment in the eyes of your team. By handling a problem in a way that makes them feel instantly reassured, secure and valued in their roles could create a positive memorable impression of you and your leadership capabilities in their minds. It’s when we can stitch enough of these small defining moments together, that’s when we create a new standard and create a point of difference.
There’s got to be a balance when it comes to being an effective leader. Of course it’s important to achieve the big things. But you’ll be shooting yourself in the foot if you neglect showing up in the the smaller moments. String enough small moments of kindness, respect, recognition and thoughtfulness and you will be well on your way to becoming an exceptional and memorable leader to the individuals in your team.
“A-ha" moments – reconnecting to the bigger meaning of your work
Moments can be so powerful. Often, we get very bogged-down in the day to day elements of our work and because this small stuff is immediate and in-our-face, it can become bigger than the real purpose of our work. In essence, we lose sight of the bigger picture.
A good leader needs to recognise this tendency and take steps to reconnect the people they are leading with the bigger picture – the real purpose of what you are collectively working towards. When you reconnect people with these moments, it re-engages them, and they let go of the trivial things that were clouding their vision. A way to do this is in team meetings is to have a ‘that’s why’ moment. For five minutes before each meeting, ask your team to think about a time that they finished a job and they left it thinking ‘that’s why I love this job’, ‘I’m proud of what I just did’, ‘that was a job well done’ or ‘that’s cool, I get to do that’. It doesn’t have to be a big earth-shattering moment, just a small yet meaningful moment. For the first five moments of a team meeting, inviting people to share “a-ha, that’s why” moment opens up a great opportunity to collectively reunite as a group and appreciate your shared purpose.
Never underestimate the power of small moments. You never know what moments can jolt us, elevate us and change us, and whatmoments could define our lives.
If you would like to book in a tailored leadership workshop with me this year or in 2020 get in touch today. I’d love to help!