Solving Leadership Isolation with Connection
Leaders lay awake at night wondering what’s really happening. You wonder, “Who should I touch base with?
Isolation prevents you from feeling the pulse of your organization. Blind spots hinder your ability to see yourself.
The President has a cabinet, why not you?
We just completed a three month pilot of a leader’s cabinet. I invited seven leaders in the organization where I lead to meet with me for dinner and conversation, once a month. There were three goals.
- Connect with each other outside the organization. (Primary)
- Clarify focus so we can all pull together.
- Develop leadership skills.
Last night we decided the pilot was successful. We’re continuing to meet.
- Food. The organization buys subs or pizza. Eating together facilitates connection.
- Informality. We sit around the table or on couches and chairs while we meet. Last night there was a fire in the fireplace.
- Rotation. Every member hosts the group. Hosting is simple. Use paper plates. This isn’t a dinner party.
- Conversation. Last night, while we ate, we talked about hulu, netflix, technology, pets, babies, old TV shows, and more.
- Listening. My primary role is listen and learn. I constantly remind myself to be quiet.
Last night’s agenda:
- What do I look like, when I’m doing my job? (Feedback for me.)
- What wins have you recently seen? Wins are more about people than programs or projects.
- What are we doing out of habit that is no longer useful?
- Bad is stronger than good.
- Diversify gender, age, and marital status.
- Let people see what’s important to you and express interest in what’s important to them.
- Share concerns or frustrations, but, never talk about something you aren’t prepared to do something about.
- Talk positives five times more than negatives.
- Let the team guide and support you.
How can leaders solve isolation and connect?