Soar to new heights by avoiding fly-by leadership

Living in coastal South Carolina and thoroughly enjoying time at the beach, I have come to get acquainted with seagulls.
I have had a love-hate relationship with seagulls over the years. I have been fascinated by watching them at the beach, whether in flight or walking along the sand in search of food. I have been annoyed by their dive-bombing attempts to partake in my snacks at the beach or interrupting my outdoor dining at local seafood restaurants. It just comes with the territory when you live along the coast.
Seagulls are interesting birds. In my research, I have learned that they can detect food from as far as three miles away, can fly as fast as 28 mph, and can fly long distances and glide over open ocean for hours in search of food.
In the quote above, Ken Blanchard humorously sums up what it is like to be around seagulls. “Seagulls tend to fly in, make a lot of noise, dump on things, and then fly away.”
From experience, I can tell you that this is not too far-fetched.
Leadership coach Marshall Goldsmith observed, “One of the most important actions, things a leader can do, is to lead by example. If you want everyone else to be passionate, committed, dedicated, and motivated, you go first!” As a leader, you have to be out front, leading the way in the things that matter most to you and those you lead.
I would like to share my leadership takeaways from Blanchard’s quote and the actual approach you should take as a leader.
Fly-in vs. being present and approachable
As a leader, you can fly in and fly out and be all over the place. Or, you can take a more deliberative approach and be a leader who is present among his or her people and is recognized as a stabilizing influence. This is not to be confused with micromanaging. Instead, you are a steady and reliable leader who leads with passion and influence.
Leadership tip: Don’t flit and fly. Be present.
Make a lot of noise vs. being humble and listening
If you have ever worked with a leader who flies in and flies out and makes a lot of noise, you know how unsettling that can be at times. In your leadership, strive to lead with humility, and be in touch with your people.
Take time to listen, and be engaged with them, and build relationships.
Leadership tip: Don’t be a loudmouth and bark orders. Be approachable and a good listener.
Dump on everyone vs. adding value to everyone
When your presence is a disruption because of your words and actions, you need to rethink your leadership. If all you are doing is dumping on people, barking orders, and flying away, you are only making things unbearable for your people. 
That style of leadership sinks morale along with the ship. Consequently, your best and brightest will soon be leading an exodus. If instead, your presence adds value, meaning, and purpose to your people, you will see your leadership style transform from that of a seagull to that of an eagle, soaring to new heights.
Final Thoughts
Your leadership development is a work in progress. Leading and lifting others begins when you develop the right leadership mindset and attitude that is attractive and uplifting, not disruptive and ugly.
©2024 Doug Dickerson

Daniel Island Publishing

225 Seven Farms Drive
Unit 108
Daniel Island, SC 29492 

Office Number: 843-856-1999
Fax Number: 843-856-8555


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