Episode 43: Leadership is Art because of the Lines – Leadership Arts Associates

Episode 43: Leadership is Art because of the Lines

The Transcript:

Hello there, and thank you so much for joining me and The HRart of It, the place where we talk people and possibilities. My name is Samm Smeltzer, and I am so happy to be your host for this podcast, and this week, we’re doing a mini-series, so it’s one of our episodes broken down into five little mini snippets on five reasons why leadership is an art, and we’re doing that because our parent organization, our mommy organization, Leadership Arts Associates, who is responsible for this entire podcast, is getting ready to reveal some big news on Friday, and you don’t want to miss out on it, so make sure that you like our Facebook page at facebook.com/leadershipisart, and at 10am this Friday, we’re going to be making a big reveal, and you want to be in the know when it happens, so make sure you like the page so that you can attend the Facebook Live announcement, and if you can’t make it at 10am, at least you will have it at your fingertips or easily there in your News Feed for when lunchtime hits, and you want to find out what is going on.

We’re counting down the five reasons why leadership is an art. Today is Wednesday. Happy Hump Day, right? Is the camel still cool? I don’t even know if I could do a good impersonation of the camel, so I won’t try, but it is Hump Day, it is Wednesday, and we are on number three, reason number three, so just a little bit of a refresher. Reason number one was you and you as the artist, you as the leadership artist. Reason number two was them, so the people that we’re leading, because we’re leading people, not widgets, and individuality brings beauty but also brings challenges, and reason number three today is the lines.

One of the artful skills, artful skills that you have to learn as a leader, is how to navigate the lines or know what the lines are, so what am I talking about? Well, number one, I’m talking about the political angle, so in organizations, you have to know kind of how they function, what are the lines that you’re functioning within, so that you can identify when you want to cross one and when you feel like it’s justified and know how to play that game so that it’s balanced and you could have the most impact. On top of the lines of the organization, there’s the lines of people, so there are certain lines that will cause you to break relationships very easily, and it’s helpful for you to know what those are so that you really know the amount of impact and the boundaries that you’re playing in.

That leads very nicely into the final type of line that you would learn about, which are your boundaries, so as a leader, it’s really helpful but also healthy that you know what boundaries you have to set for yourself to ensure that you can take care of you, so there’s certain things that you’re going to do versus not do like what are your priorities? When does when the daycare calls for your sick child do you go versus calling around to find some other caretaker to take them? How do you know when that judgment call is there so that when you leave at the end of the day that you’re happy with whatever that call was whether that’s you canceled a client, or you rescheduled a client, or you left work early to go pick up your son or daughter, or if you sent somebody else to go pick them up, and you show up at home at your regular time, how are you going to feel? You have to be happy with that.

Same thing with the lines that you learn within your organization and with your people. If you choose to cross a line, you have to make sure that it … You should make sure that it is a meaningful cross. I think a lot of leaders don’t learn the lines, so they spend a lot of time just casually crossing lines, not even realizing they’re doing it, and then it totally impacts their ability when they want to be masterful about it, when they want to go ahead and create that organizational masterpiece, that they can’t navigate it because they were not abusing the lines, but they were just negligent and unaware of the lines, so they don’t know what relationships they broke down, or they don’t know who they rubbed the wrong way, and these lines can be as big as surrounding departments and how they interact with each other to your supervisor and your supervisor’s relationship with their supervisor and going up the chain that way. It could be outside vendors and those kinds of resources and the kind of lines.

When I’m talking about on your team, I could talk about projects that they want to or when you’re asking them to stay later, just how you have boundaries for yourself, every healthy individual should have boundaries for themselves as well. Now sometimes those get taken advantage of in the work environment, especially if you’re dealing with my livelihood, I’m going to stay if you make me stay, or maybe you’re not forcing me to stay, but you highly encourage it, I’m going to stay, because I need the money. I need the money to take care of my family or everything else is null and void, and it takes a lot to hit a limit where I’m going to just walk.

With that being said, how more impactful could you be if you knew what their boundaries were, if you could align with their boundaries? A lot of this is just increasing your own awareness, your personal awareness, about what is happening around you. What are the dynamics that are at play, because it’s when we have that awareness that we can really then structure a strategy that makes sense for you and all the players that are involved.

That’s reason number three is the lines, which is an art in itself to uncover all those things, and tomorrow on Thursday, we’re going to give you reason number four. We are so close, so close, to getting to reason number five and our live Facebook announcement, so make sure you don’t miss out. Make sure you like the Facebook page, and I will talk to you tomorrow. See ya.

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