Leadership is an activity. You know it’s not a spectator sport but a call to action. Yet, many leaders I coach are too busy – pulled here and there by the sheer breadth of their responsibilities. They tell me they are responsive, yet exhausted by it all. With large portfolios and many stakeholders you can find yourself responding, responding, and responding. That’s not leadership – that’s following. Leadership means initiating. Starting. Intervening in the system. A leader stirs things up. A leader doesn’t wait for a signal to decide it’s time to move forward. A leader changes the status quo.
If you’re tired, instead of taking a break, make a break. Maybe it’s time you and your team re-thought a process, a business model, a series of relationships, or simply an idea that’s been around so long no one pays attention anymore. Here are 5 imaginatively simple ways to shake up your work world and become a more proactive leader.
Break Up: Uncouple that which seems linked for good. Break things apart like the icebreaker boats which cut or ram ice so that others can move through. Create space between for more movement, flexibility or to add something in.
Break Down: Disintegrate something – take it apart without any hope of reassembling. Isolate various components and examine them as unique and new. Be bold and make some things disappear – like carpet fibres under strong acid.
Break Open: Dig deep, probe and pick. Uncover what was hidden. Find the kernel or the core at the heart of something. Look for what really matters. Remove the tough outer shell with finesse and craftiness.
Break Away: Outrun, outdistance, and leave the middle of the pack. If you sped up or took a different turn – the less traveled way – what would happen?
Break Dance: Have fun with it, stand it on its head, spin around, move backwards. Play around with all the elements and create something artistic and fun to be a part of.