Leadership Teeter-Totter


By Clyde C. Lowstuter


Remember balancing on a teeter-totter when you were a youngster?  You’re up, then you’re down.  Often it’s fun, but sometimes it can be unsettling for even the bravest.  Leadership is composed of times of great certainty and also . . . erratic circumstances.

Executives who lead teams have the privilege, responsibility, and obligation to significantly unleash more of their staff’s potential by the balanced and steady way they lead, communicate, and behave.  But how to do it?

Leaders must always balance their observations and actions on two key continuums.  Ask your directs:

1st:  Strategic and Operational:  What are you doing now that directly ties to the overall business objectives?

2nd:  Financial and Behavioral:  What is the financial impact on the business and the intended / unintended impact on people?

Today – ask and answer yourself:

  • What is the estimated impact on morale, productivity, and the P&L impact if you and your colleagues operate 15% more effectively?
  • What timely, constructive feedback can you positively provide to each of your directs, so that the people who intend to do well – can?
  • What are two things that you can do today to unleash more of your own brilliance . . . and that of your team?

This Post Has One Comment

  1. Bill Doucette

    The two continuums are very important to create and develop successful organizational outcomes. A suggestion for leaders is to have a clear understanding of how long they will be riding the teeter-totter. In other words, does ownership have a specific time frame before the organization is sold, merged or restructured? Applying the context of time will likely reduce the intervention methods available to create value or meet specific organizational objectives. If leaders have 3 years versus 15 years on the teeter-totter they may ride it differently.

Leave a Reply