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A manager or supervisor’s job should be easier. After all, as long as you have the right people, the right materials, the right information and the right equipment, everything goes smoothly. For most of us this fairy tale scenario only happens on occasion. The rest of the time we are scrambling because one or two of the success elements is missing.
In fact it would be easy to simply react to whatever happens and never look past the immediate requirements.
Unfortunately this also means that the supervisor or manager never feels a sense that they are winning or moving the organization forward. And the employees never see a picture of where their leader is trying to take them.
Sports psychologists who work with elite athletes use a powerful technique that might help you in your leadership role.
The athlete will be asked to envision success – sinking the winning putt at the Masters or winning the Grand Slam of Tennis or hoisting the MVP trophy at the World Series. Then the sports psychologist will ask the high-potential athlete to imagine that they are looking back from that triumphant moment to today. They are asked to see what the steps would have been in order to achieve that ultimate success. Inevitably they will have needed good coaches, personal discipline, opportunities to compete and a track record of success.
In a similar way the supervisor or manager can imagine their department, division or company as he or she would like it to be. Crystallizing that vivid picture can help the manager look beyond todays hassles and frustration and towards a more exciting and powerful future.
Getting out of reaction mode and setting a powerful vision for yourself and your team will pay big dividends in terms of results, personal satisfaction and employee engagement.
Putting it into action
  1. List all of the hassles and frustrations you encounter on a regular basis.
  2. Describe your department in the future where those hassles have melted away and your vision has been achieved.
  3. Think about the steps that would need to be taken to get there.
  4. Keep that picture in your mind as you move forward.
  5. Even when you find yourself going in circles because of today’s circumstances, realize that your vision is becoming closer to being a reality.
  6. Watch how your team responds to your vision and helps you achieve it.
  7. Feel the sense of satisfaction that comes from a job well done.