Seasoned leaders can find it challenging to embrace the many workplace changes they face. Here’s three traps to watch for.
Don’t assume you know it all, because you don’t. Even if you do know a lot and have a great deal of experience, much of what you know has changed or will be changed. Everyone is talking about “disruption.” So work at being a lifelong learner. What can I read about a new subject? What can I ask someone to explain to me? What can I experience that’s new or different? Seasoned leaders seek to continue learning.
Placing Blame, Not Solving Problems.
As leaders get older and gravitate to familiar, comfortable ways, it’s really easy to want to point a finger and say, “There’s the problem. I’ve been around a long time, and I know where the problem is.” Anybody can do that, and they don’t even have to be right. Work to be a problem solver, not a blame placer. The greatest seasoned leaders step up and say, “I may not be able to tell you specifically what the problem is, but I’m not afraid to tackle that problem in an attempt to solve it and move forward.” Leaders like that never go out of style.
“Leadership is the opportunity to make a difference that will last beyond our time — to leave a leadership legacy”
Not Leaving a Legacy.
Seasoned leaders need to be thankful for their continuing leadership opportunities. One of the greatest advantages of leadership is the opportunity to make a difference that will last beyond our time — to leave a leadership legacy. Some see legacy as leaving a lot of money. Others see legacy as having a statue built or a building named in their honor. As leaders, I would argue that the greatest legacy that we could leave is making a difference — a lasting difference — in the lives of the people that we are able to influence along our way. We can help people live more fulfilled, satisfied lives, accomplish dreams and goals. More importantly, by investing our leadership skills in others, they can lead future generations based on lessons they learned from us. To me, that’s nothing short of cool! That’s what I’m aspiring to do.
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