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Sunday, 23 October 2011

Don’t Hold It All In! Talk to Someone About It!

The more I talk to leaders the more I have come to realise that under that strong, confident, assertive, committed exterior there lies a bubbling mass of insecurity and uncertainty.  Not in every case, it must said, but definitely in many.

It is also remarkable how few leaders understand and accept the situation and then do something about it.  Possibly the reason for inaction is that they don’t really know what to do.

The answer is usually to swallow foolish pride and talk someone else about the matter, what can be done and how best to do it.
The underlying problem is almost invariably one which has been seen before and even if it is absolutely new, which is unlikely, then a sensible discussion with someone can be enormously helpful.  Again, it is curious how often the very act of downloading an issue to a trusted and trustworthy colleague who just listens, can help to solve a problem.
Innately we almost always have the solution to a problem within us; we just don’t want to accept the solution which in many cases can be difficult to accept and achieve.
My several years of experience in Vistage (www.vistage.co.uk) have shown me how powerful the peer group approach can be.  Members with what they consider to be an intractable problem, bring it to the group who are supportive and interested, and what is more, have probably experienced the same in the past.
Add to that the ability to talk to a trusted mentor on a regular one-t-one basis and the leader has a very effective support system to get over those seemingly difficult issues which plague us all from time to time.
The worst thing that the leader can do is to hold it all in and hope that it will go away.  Sometimes it does but mostly it doesn’t and usually goes worse. 
The answer is to grasp the nettle (or bite the bullet), and talk about it to a dedicated listener (or listeners).

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