As human beings we all have a life line, something we cling onto, indeed grasp onto with all our life, in order to survive. And so I have several questions for you. Which end of that rope are you holding onto to? Where is the other end tied to? And is that rope you are attached to in your hands or around your neck?
We are creatures of habit. None of us like change and those that embrace it are usually the one’s that ultimately lead us. Because we all get lazy, can’t be bothered figuring things out for ourselves and trust to more or less a degree those above us to make the right decisions.
So what are you clinging onto right now?
This life line, the security you hold on to. Have you asked yourself where the other end is attached to? If it was tied to an anchor would you not instantly let go? Unless of course you hadn’t bothered to check before it drags you down below the waves!. Equally as dangerous, is your life line actually attached to anything at all, only to be swept away with no point of focus? Have you checked? Finally, is this life line you hold so tightly onto in a place where you could actually let go if you wanted to. Like a hangman’s noose, this life line around your neck is just as likely to kill you. Essentially where are your foundations right now?
This is equally applicable to what ever you do, whether you are a coal face worker or a leader. Perhaps all the more scary though should a leader have based their foundations on something less than solid. For if they fall, without the right sort of life line in our own lives then do we not also follow?
It is a well documented fact that long term prisoners on their release are reluctant to leave their prison cells especially so with prisoners of war. The very thing that took away their freedom provided them with security and safety. Absurdly, their prison became their sanctuary!
So using this as an analogy I see this on a day to day basis. Leaders of all status entombed in their own four walls of an office with the door closed. If the door is open, it is ajar ever so slightly. Is this an indication of mindset?
And just where is that life line?
In the Royal Navy, the captain of the ship’s most important asset is not their first officer or their weapons officer. No it is the ship’s engineer. It is probably the person they speak most to on a personal level. They don’t go through a chain of command because they are too important to the survival of the ship. Without the engineer the ship become’s a sitting duck in the water. And so, just as the coal face workers are the engine then their immediate supervisors are the engineer’s. Moving parts until they don’t.
A road policing officer will check their vehicle daily for defects, fluid levels and general wear and tear. Once a week the vehicle is fully checked for this is their office and command post. Essentially checking on the well being of the vehicle.
Imagine that the vehicle is your staff. When was the last time you checked for wear and tear? When was the last time you personally spoke with your engineer?