Wow, was 2016 a year or was 2016 some kind of year!?? I cannot remember the last time we had to say goodbye to so many famous and significant celebrities. Famous people die every year of course, but it just seemed like the year started off with a big punch to the gut and the hits just kept on coming. It's hard to say goodbye to George Michael, David Bowie, Glen Fry. But Prince? Man oh man, that one still hurts.
Thanks for reading my very first blog post for this site - posted at the very first minute of 2017. How exciting for me! I have been doing a lot over the years as it relates to leadership. I've been really intrigued by exploring ways to deal with conflicts, how to get a lot of people to move forward together at the same time, how to know if you're on the right track, etc. It interested me so much I decided to get a degree in this stuff! I decided to get a Masters in Leadership from Lancaster Bible College and it was one of the best decisions I've ever made. I loved every second of it. I truly enjoyed graduating in May of 2016. It's funny: I spent so much time reading books, doing homework, posting assignments that I never thought it would end! Isn't that funny? The graduation ceremony - even the actual moment of receiving my diploma NEVER entered my mind throughout the entire process. I was so focused on the work, I did not stop to consider much else. Plus I got into the habit of late nights, classes, overcoming obstacles and reading. I never thought there would be a conclusion.
What I figured out during the Masters in Leadership process was that it's not what you think it is. Now don't misunderstand me: I don't mean this in a negative way. But what I mean is this: each and every process we engage in, we start it because we are focused on the end, right? 2017 will start me and I'm sure a lot of you on weight loss. What's our goal? A specific number of pounds to lose. 2017 will also start me and I'm sure a lot of you on engaging in a healthier lifestyle. What's the goal? Perhaps, something tangible or measurable like lifting a certain weight or running a specific distance.
That got me thinking.
Do you know the most important part of a plane ride? I can tell you what it's not! It's not the size of the plane. It's not the quality of the crew. It's not even the skill of the pilot though that is MASSIVELY IMPORTANT. It's not what you're going to eat on the plane, if the bar is open on the plane, how cool the Sky Mall magazine is (I LOVE those things). It's not the movies they show on the plane, the cleanliness of the bathroom or even the size of the seat. Give up? I'll tell you:
It's the length of the runway.
You see, very simply put, the runway allows the plane to generate enough speed to get the plane up into the air so it (and you) can get to where you're going. Therefore the opposite is exactly true too: if the plane can't generate enough speed because the runway is too short, you cannot fly. You can taxi but you can't fly and even then, you're run out of real estate. One of the reasons why I started VIP Consulting is because I want to equip others on how to fly by building a runway. Sometimes you may have the absolute best and right decision for your team but, because you haven't done enough ground work, your idea fails. Or sometimes you respond to conflict emotionally and fire everyone without understanding you will eventually hire a new person to make the same old mistakes because you haven't built a standard.
We can be so focused on the objective - getting the degree, having a great praise team, getting your team to move forward, etc - we forget about our job as leaders which is to BUILD THE RUNWAY FOR TAKEOFF.
Have you told your team change is coming?
Have you told them over and over and over and over and over and over again that change is coming?
Have to talked about it, written it down and distributed it to them, emailed them and have meetings about change coming?
Have you shown them the benefits of impending change?
Have you brought in people just like them who hated change at first but then engaged in the same process you are suggesting, only to find out they were better off for doing so?
This will be the start of a leadership resource for you to use as a way to build that runway. This is why I started VIP Consulting. I wanted to make sure leaders and team members like you know it's not what we think it is. It's not about the flight; it's the runway.
Get ready to fly :)
Happy New Year. I hope 2017 brings you love, blessings, good health and great leadership opportunities.