Wednesday 9 August 2017

Let others do. Leaders focus on who

I believe Aristotle (384 - 322 BC) got it absolutely right.

And yet the focus in most workplaces is on doing.

Do follows who.

All the time I witness employees asking managers what should they do? and managers telling them!

Let others do. Leaders focus on who.

When asked what should I do? The wise respond: What are your feelings and thoughts?

‘The way we do things around here’ has long been the catch cry to describe culture.

From 26 years working at the coalface my conclusion is that do is at best a third of the equation with who and why the far more powerful two thirds, because they dictate the doing. 

If you want your culture to get better, start with who.

You no doubt know about ‘Start With Why’. I love the philosophy too. It’s author Simon Sinek got it absolutely right when he said “People don't buy what you do; they buy why you do it.”

More on who and why here.

I think why comes from who which is why is I suggest start with who.

A modern day Aristotle Jim Cathcart captures this well:

Focus your leadership on inspiring and influencing your people to be the best version of themselves, that remarkable one-of-a-kind human being that each of us is. All do follows why and why follows who.

I keep the following chart visible to help keep myself focused. You may find it useful too.

Another action I take is visualising something about the character of the one-of-a-kind human being/s on the other end of the line/screen or sitting with me.

Who Before Do.

Who will you become? What will you do (no pun intended) next?

Be remarkable.

In my work with clients I always start bottom left of the process below.

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