It was a miracle that anyone still worked for us. I was a 28-year old executive in a fast-growing company. I was in way over my head.
I had a well-deserved reputation as a hothead and a jerk.
I was feared.
I was cocky.
And the lines of communication between my team and me were beyond cut off. They were non-existent.
So, it was indeed a miracle that anymore still worked for us.
The only saving grace was that there was another leader in the company who was great. His awesomeness apparently made up for me. Plus, I do suppose I had a few redeeming traits.
The good news is that, over time, I learned three valuable lessons. Those are the three lessons I want to share with you today. The three things a leader should never, ever, ever, ever do.
When I first became a leader (or least when I finally realized I had four other people who reported to me), I knew I needed help. I went to the bookstore one Saturday afternoon and the first book I bought was from today’s guest.
I remember reading that book, The Top Ten Mistakes Leaders Make, over the next week and along with other books, made me into a much better leader.
I’m honored to introduce today’s guest, someone who I consider a virtual mentor and someone who recently has become a great friend, Hans Finzel.
When I was still in college, my father taught me a lesson that will stay with me my entire life. He taught me that great leaders, those people who attract followers and leave powerful legacies, know when it’s time to instruct and when it’s time to encourage.
My Dad and I invited my friend Ryan for a round of golf one afternoon. The weather and the course were perfect and I was playing lights out. Ryan, on the other hand, was not.
Ryan and I had grown up together and for a long time viewed each other as equals at golf. Then, during our senior year of high school, his father was diagnosed with terminal brain cancer. Ryan didn’t touch a club for nearly three years.
On this day, I viewed Ryan as someone in need of help. He was hitting the ball all over the place. His tee shots were usually in the trees amd the rest of his shots weren’t any better. It wasn’t the Ryan that I knew. My heart went out to him so I tried to help in the only way I knew how:
I instructed him.
I’ve made a ton of mistakes as a leader. Just ask anyone I have ever led…or read some of my previous posts here.
Ask my wife, my co-workers, my direct reports, my business partners, and bosses. You might want to block off a week or four to do it though.
But I made one big mistake that I didn’t even realize until now. One that led to almost every other mistake I made.
What’s the biggest leadership mistake @MattMcWilliams2 ever made? Find out in this podcast (Tweet That) | Share this Graphic on Pinterest | Share on Facebook
What was that mistake? Well, you’ll have to listen to today’s episode, a special Wednesday-Edition Mini-Lesson to find out.