This Week’s Focus Point
By Dr. Jason Carthen
The Greatest Adversary to Your Peak Performance
Uncertainty and self-doubt can be the greatest adversary to your peak performance. I recently participated in something that I had never done before…”Night Golf.” I had the privilege of helping to raise money for Young Life Youth Ministry by participating in their night golf event.
Little did I know the leadership lesson I would learn in the process. At the very beginning of the evening you knew that it was going to be something different and out of the ordinary. In addition to not falling into chasms and water hazards because you simply could not see them, you also had to actually hit the ball while in the dark. The only saving grace were the glow sticks in the specially crafted ball and the runway type lighting down the fairways.
We Have To Rely Upon one Another
The first two holes were filled with uncertainty and timidity because you just could not rely upon what you had always known (line of sight). In fact, you had to totally rely upon others’ guidance to help you reach peak performance. After two holes, things began to change, our team got into a rhythm and started to trust the process which helped to remove much of the uncertainty. What changed it…? There was no imbalance of leadership power, we all knew we were in it together and relied upon one another to lead and guide us at certain points of doubt and uncertainty.
True Leaders are Inquisitive and always Eager to Provide Input
We can see this same dynamic carried out in organizations regularly. For example, in leadership, there is a tremendous opportunity to shape and mold others during your interactions. This shaping and molding can be both positive or negative depending upon the leader’s background, maturity level and motives. A research endeavor by Dr. Justin Irving shows that servant leaders who are mature and seasoned in their leadership style, welcome followers who are inquisitive and eager to provide input to help move them and the organization forward when it comes to Team Effectiveness.
Leaders are Controlling to Empower Their People
However, when leaders are controlling and hesitant to empower their people, they create followers who will not think for themselves and cultivate an atmosphere that can quickly become toxic. These types of leaders thrive on uncertainty because they rush in to save the day and maintain the imbalance in power. Be wary of subjecting yourself to this type of puppet master leadership because it will quickly bring diminishing returns to both the leader and the followers. Instead, seek after what Dr. Irving described regarding overall team effectiveness when the leader forsakes being the chief and instead becomes a productive member of the team.
How are you lighting a path for others in their leadership development?