I was watching one of the singing competition shows the other night and one of the coaches on the show told the contestant to always show up and give 200% and never just phone it in. I thought about that in our digital online age we live, and how easy it is to “just phone it in”. To simply send the message instead of being the message or showing the message is a crucial mistake in current leadership.
Social media has taken our world by storm. We believe we can be part of something simply because we are following, friending, connecting or poking someone. The reality is, while social media has a place in our relational connections it cannot be the relational connection for leaders. Those you lead want to see, feel, touch, and hear you. They need the security of your presence and the safety of you being in the same boat as they are.
How do you show up and give 200% each time
The key to all in is preparation. Make sure you know what you are talking about when you show up. That you have put in the time and energy to present something worthwhile. It does not matter if it is a weekly staff meeting, or a multi-million dollar presentation to change the course of the company. Always show up prepared. Do your homework when everyone else is asleep or doing their work so you can focus on those you lead when they are around. I always prepare early and show up early so I can walk the halls, and hang out with people instead of rushing around trying to get my stuff together because I didn’t prepare.
During times of leading change or a shift in direction make sure you are seen much more than you are heard. Leaders make changes, decisions, course corrections and other things that can cause followers to feel unsettled. It is important that those you lead see you. Sense you are in the drivers seat and know you know what you are doing. Absence or phoning it in will cause even greater unsettledness and even distrust. Be willing to walk, talk, and listen to those around you as they process your leadership.
True leaders take their position seriously, and so do those they lead. It is important to realize the influence and impact the leader position has. Leaders who “phone it in” do not realize the impact of their position or the damage when not in position.
There is a basic promise made when a leader leads. The leader promises to go somewhere, protect, and make decisions. The leader, who shows up, who doesn’t “phone it in”, keeps the promise.