Would you like to hear about the worst day I ever had on The Leader Ship?
We went sailing with four very strong characters to demonstrate the offer– it was very male laddy vibe with backslapping and public schoolboy swearing, and they stormed quickly and clumsily through each task we gave them.
I told them we’d reached a point where we’d completed the tasks. But I didn’t know how to engage further with them.
“Yippee let’s have a jolly” they said, shoved in full-throttle and opened some beers.
I let maybe an hour pass, until I said, “lets take a pause and reflect on what were’ doing” – to which the response was “don’t be a *****, we’re just trying to have fun”. They mutinied and just kept control of the boat.
It was in that moment that my training as a coach and mediator came back to me – and I asked myself – what data is this behaviour showing me? How useful would it be if I were able to find a way to show them it?
It felt time to bully the bullies. I grabbed back control, swung the boat round towards home -they all looked like scorned schoolboys.
Point proven – I stopped the boat and explained their behaviour had made me feel unsafe and disrespected – had that come up for any of them before?
“In order to get on in our industry, you’ve got to have balls, and be prepared to put them on show – we are not used to being called out on it.”
By the end of the day we were all best friends and they offered to take me out to dinner – they said it was the first time they’d seen it as a problem : “we spend our days throwing our weight around yet not really getting what we want, and wondering why?”
They realised what I already knew; good leadership isn’t only about what you achieve, it’s about how you go about it.
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