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Showing The Door

I can only show you the door. You have to walk through it. ~Morpheus

My Leadership Training Program is getting closer to kicking off which finds me working late hours developing the training content.  I am using all my creative energies to ensure the training will be informative and entertaining in a way that will help the message stick, help the message take seed, help it form strong roots so the students will have a strong foothold as they continue to grow their leadership skills.

Because of this program, I am being watched more closely on the job than I have ever previously been watched. Every step I take and will take is being monitored, scrutinized, evaluated, judged. There are those that expect me to fail. I need to prove them wrong not for myself (though that would be rewarding) but for those that come after me, for those that want to go out on a limb and bring in new ideas to the company, for those that want to innovate. The knowledge that I am being scrutinized and that I have been given young leaders to grow is driving me hard these days.

Not only am I working long days, I spend many of my waking hours pondering the training program. Most of the ‘recreational’ reading I have chosen because I believe the knowledge I absorb will help to improve my ability to train my students, will help my students become better leaders. I take this responsibility seriously for, if I do a poor job, not only do I fail, which is unfortunate, but 7 others that trusted me, that have invested their time and energy will not get an adequate return on their investment and that is a leadership tragedy.

A good manager is a man who isn’t worried about his own career but rather the careers of those who work for him. – Henry S. Burns

I have taught before, taught in the respect that I raised 3 kids, coached youth soccer for 14 years, and mentored more people than I can remember. I understand that each student has their own way of learning, that each needs something unique to get the most out of the learning experience and that it is my responsibility to ensure I meet each of them where they best learn. I also know that I can only show them the door. No matter how hard I try, I can’t make them walk through it. My job is to make sure the door is so attractive that they want to walk on through to the other side. But, this I must balance with an understanding that not everyone is destined to be a leader and that for some of them, walking through the door would be a mistake. I cannot create a picture that is too rosy. The picture must show the reality on the other side of the door. They must know that walking through the leadership door is just one step on a long journey, a journey in which, if they want to succeed as leaders, will put them on a life long journey of growth. I must make sure they understand that once they become leaders they have a responsibility to continually grow their leadership skills and abilities. They will have to be dedicated to learning for, if they decide to stop learning, their ability to lead will diminish. This requirement to continually learn is something they must understand and they must do for themselves. I cannot learn for them, I can only show them the door.


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