Strength resides in relationship – leadership is moving from me to WE. The Brotherhood of the Rope asks us to connect past me to we. The rope connects us, ties us together, helps us summit, and come to the assistance of others.
Recently, I have facilitated leadership workshops on The WE Factor because I want to reinforce the connections so important between leaders and their direct reports. WE stands the “M” of me on its head to move leadership from the singular me to the plural we.
While conducting my last leadership workshop I had a small epiphany. By adding an additional “e” to we we have wee, hinting at the small actions that can make big differences while still embedding WE in the title. I will now be calling this leadership workshop: The WE(E) Factor.
Most of my participants are overloaded with duties, tasks, and responsibilities. Leadership education can feel like an imposition – an additional item to comply with in an already overloaded and overbooked day. As participants attend workshops they dread the work that is filling their vacated cubicle, inbox, and voicemail.
The mundane has reached a new sense of urgency. I am seeing more participants race out of education sessions to the vibrating demands of their electronic leash and more participants are impervious to how disconnected they are to the people right in front of them as they try to thumb out a quick message as they half-heartily brainstorm ways to be more respectful in a group that is being driven to distraction by the incessant demands of a workplace gone wild!
As leadership educators I believe we must foster WE(E) steps with our leadership learners to maximize their connection and results? For example, if I don’t hear the following comments I sense them:
Who has time to do this leadership stuff? Yes, it might be good and it might be helpful but do you know how busy I am? Where will I find the time? Where will I find the energy? And even though I know leadership is about WE, how can I be helpful to WE when there is no time or energy left in me?
So in the vernacular of Bob Wiley – Bill Murry’s character in the movie What About Bob? – it is time to gather strength through baby steps. The WE(E) steps of leadership that can strengthen results and relationships while not taxing the limited time and energy resources of leaders.
In the next four posts I will outline 4 WE(E)-Factor initiatives weaving the small with the significant to achieve a stronger expression of leadership:
- The step of connection to lessen the conundrum of crazy busy (Ed Hallowell).
- The step of 5 minutes to move beyond contact to connection (Rosa Say).
- The step of flipping over a business card to achieve authentic focus (Mike Morrison)
- The step of 2 weeks to achieve a breakthrough (Lisa Hanenberg).