On 60 Minutes last Sunday, President Obama visited with Steve Kroft for two segments (part 1, part 2). Throughout he talked about the start of his Presidency, the challenges he is facing and much more. One small comment about one of his habits is an important lesson for all of us as leaders.
He said that he tries to read ten letters (from the thousands he receives) each day. He talks about how those words from “regular people” (my words, not his) helps him stay grounded and that hearing the voices of Americans outside of the White House bubble is important for him and his ability to lead successfully.
I think he is right and applaud him for making efforts to do exactly that.
None of us as leaders are as insulated from our organizations or customers as is the President of the United States, and so none of us many need to go to the lengths that he must go to.
And yet, like President Obama we must make efforts to connect with our teams, whether they are done the hall, across the country or half way around the globe. Unless you are well connected, how can you . . .
– create the best leadership communication (whether your next PowerPoint presentation or next one-to-one conversation)?
– do the best job possible of coaching and mentoring?
– be innovative?
– provide effective leadership influence?
– be in touch with the needs of those important groups (including your Customers)?
While President Obama works to stimulate our economy, his new habit can unknowingly stimulate good leadership skills everywhere.
Make this your leadership development task for today…
Find three ways to reconnect with those you lead and/or serve. Utilize those ways to reduce the distance, real and imagined, between you and others.
Your team will thank you.
Your Customers will reward you.
And your success will speak for itself.