July 7, 2016
The Essential Elements of Leading Together
Here are a few key things that matter to us as we lead together.
What stands out after one year of business partnership ...
I've spent years leading and learning, and this past year, I've learned even more as business partner to Evan McBroom, our Chief Culture Officer, Founder & Partner at Fishhook. Last week, I wrote about a couple key things that matter to me (and us) as we lead together. This week, I'd like to share about these essential elements of leading together.
Oh, this is a big one! Because we're human. And every day isn't filled with non-stop laughs and the greatest work ever! (We'd love that, but it's just not possible this side of eternity!)
So when we have hard issues, questions or feelings, we do what we can to pray, discern the right time to discuss and respectfully speak up and communicate the truth in love.
Throughout the years, Evan and I have said very significant things to one another. We have tried to build one another up while also challenging one another to identify issues, evaluate and grow. And as business partners, we have agreed that open communication is even more important.
If we're feeling great about our work, then we want to hear about it. It's fun to celebrate together. If we're wrestling with something or feeling discouraged for whatever reason, we want to hear that too. It's appropriate to explore these issues as well.
And very transparently, I admit that this is an area that keeps me on my knees in prayer. I want to be open to what God has for all of us and our clients at Fishhook. I want to be open to what others say and feedback that is given. I care about what Evan is thinking or feeling. In addition, I have my own thoughts and feelings that I work with and through each day. I pray for wisdom, courage and strength to know what we need to pay attention to and act on out of all of that!
How are you communicating with the other leaders on your team? Are you communicating and working through the exciting stuff and the hard stuff?
When you lead closely with someone, it's a blessing to have trust. And trust grows throughout the days, months and years. So how do you build trust? You do it. Better yet, you prove it.
For us, it plays out in a variety of scenarios. I'll share some examples ...
We're in a meeting. A discussion comes up, and decisions are made. If Evan and I are in the meeting together, we are very aware of each other's body language/non-verbals and sharing. Later, if there is any question about the other's position, we'll circle back up to ask, "You good with the direction we're headed?" There is trust that if you're not good, the other person will say so.
Evan and I may not agree about a next step, but we try to be aware of who feels more strongly about what should be done. If Evan feels more strongly, then I am usually comfortable deferring to his leadership and intuition on the matter. Other times, I may feel more strongly about a situation, so he'll defer to me. Sometimes, it feels like we're on a teeter-totter. We take the lead at different times, and we balance each other out.
In recent months, Evan and I were exploring what I could do to commemorate my 10+ years at Fishhook. (In the future, we'll do this with any Fishhooker who works with us for 10+ years.) We were discussing a week-long trip that I might take with my husband or family. Then, after some prayer and discussion at home, I came back to Evan.
I felt led to ask for a month off this summer - a mini sabbatical - to rest, refresh and ready myself for whatever God might want to impress upon my heart to strengthen my/our work at Fishhook. I presented this to Evan. He heard me, he was open and he's been very supportive. He trusts that it's what I need. He trusts that it's a win for me, my family and for our full team. He trusts that God is leading, so I'll be away for the full month of July, and I'm so grateful.
How are you building trust with your leaders? What examples could you give?
How will you grow as a leader - and with those you are leading with - in the coming months? One of my favorite leadership events each year is The Global Leadership Summit, and this year, we are giving away 4 FREE tickets! Click below to enter.