Please, stop being an efficient leader

If I could implore you to do one thing? Please stop being efficient with your leadership. I hopped a flight down to Arizona last week. At the start of the flight, the flight attendants gave the mandatory pre-flight passenger briefing. Because of my aisle seat and seating location, the FA was positioned right beside me. She was a total pro. Every movement perfectly choreographed. The briefing was completed in under a minute. It was efficient. The problem was, as I looked around I noticed that almost nobody was paying attention. Yeah, we have all seen these briefings before. Yeah, we all know how to buckle our seat belts. But, the purpose of the briefing is to increase safety. If only a few of us are listening, then we aren’t any safer. The briefing is efficient, but it’s not as effective as it could be. The same thing happens with leadership. Many of us are trying to be efficient with our time (trying to do more with less!) which unintentionally leads to ineffectiveness. We are being efficient at the expense of being effective. Leadership done well cannot always be done efficiently. It’s a bit messy. It requires thought, reflection, experimentation, and time. Let’s stop trying to make it more efficient and start trying to make it more effective.

by Jonathan Wilson

Jonathan is the Head Coach at Sandcastle Company, a Seattle-based leadership training organization. His first book, Future Leader: Rebooting Leadership to Win the Millennial and Tech Future [link], is now available. Jonathan regularly writes and speaks about The New Leader Way, leadership resilience, and the future of work. He has years of leadership experience in both the public and private sectors, a master's degree from Seattle University, and professional coach training from the University of Miami.

Filed under: Leadership

Published on March 12, 2019

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