Playing the 19th Hole – With a Helping Hand

By Peter Jeff
The Leadership Mints Guy

Here’s an idea to enhance your collaborative behavior in the midst of individual performance. Reading time: 2:07.

            The large photograph in the company president’s office looked about as out of place as a pants presser in a nudist colony. The photograph, festooned among the president’s framed diplomas and certificates, featured a turtle perched atop a fence post. Nothing more.

           The turtle was paralyzed in fear.  Unable to move. Nowhere to go (but down). And no one in sight to help the turtle get down.

         “We all need a helping hand every now and then,” said the company president, explaining his turtle on the fence-post photo. “ That turtle needed some help getting up there and now that turtle is going to need plenty of help staying up there or getting down from there. “

          That’s why hard charging leaders, driving their companies, with their individual vision, spirit and drive, never forget to reach out and collaborate with others.

            These leaders are like highly competitive golfers, chasing that elusive ball around the course with a personal passion requiring individual concentration for 18 holes. But they play the proverbial 19th hole, differently.

They collaborate with others on that 19th hole. They listen to others on that 19th hole. They learn from others on that 19th hole. And of course they socialize with others on that 19th hole , known more formally as the clubhouse bar or restaurant.

Leaders Make the Transition from ME to WE

         And that transition from ME to WE–from ME : the Competitor to WE:  the Collaborator — is the key behavior in the most effective leaders I have ever known.

        After all, the most effective leaders leverage what Alexis de Tocqueville called “the reciprocal action of men one upon the other,” in his book  Democracy in America. He observed that with this reciprocity “feelings and ideas are renewed, the heart enlarged, and the understanding developed.”

         Especially in playing the 19th hole.

 Today’s ImproveMINT

Make time to collaborate after an individual performance to  keep your leadership thinking in mint condition.

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