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The countdown
On September 02, 2010, in Total leadership, by Neculai Fantanaru

Check out how develops your area of responsibility, by detecting the emotional, mental and behavioral condition of people in decisive moments.

They surpassed so many dangers, they crossed the seas and oceans, yet they had not found a trace of Captain Grant. Their courage was put to sore trials, they had passed through all the emotions of waiting, but they were all now filled with hopelessness, especially Mary and Robert, the Captain's children.

Lord Glenarvan himself was leading the expedition, who was aware they came again to a deadlock in their search. Once again, the map that guided them in their journey, led them on a wrong route, which he himself had recommended. Once again, they had failed. However, having a great enthusiasm, of which only the true adventurers give proof, being confident in the success of the mission that he had prepared by himself, and which he promised to fulfill, he addressed to his small crew:

- We must have confidence, my friends! Let's have confidence! Captain Grant is not here, with us, but we are sure we will find him.

Those words were enough to restore hope and good humor to the passengers on the ship Duncan.

Leadership: Do you maintain with dignity the ability to foresee the prospect of success through the eyes of the leader?

During that long journey, all the crew members on Duncan continued to see everything from the perspective of success, through the eyes of Lord Glenarvan, going where he wanted, stopping only where he wanted to, and admitting all that he said. And that is because Lord Glenarvan was clever enough to always give them a drop of confidence and energy, especially in difficult times, causing them to take an active and constructive behavior. His entire attitude shows that he was a strong man, both physically and mentally.

In leadership, there is no victory by resignation !

The only way to reach your goals is to urge people to participate in their achievement, and your first priority in this regard must be improving their work efficiency and enhancing their development potential. Nevertheless, when they reach a new situation or when they are in a great difficulty, or when they seem to beat time, people start having doubts and reservations about your effectiveness as a leader and your leadership ability, and you become a mediocre and weak person in their eyes, whom they no longer have respect for.

People can't courageously follow the will of the man who is not capable of leading them effectively in a direction favorable to them. And in this case, it can even happen that their entire kindness and interest fall so dramatically, that they may begin to have a hostile attitude towards him. In leadership, you either assume your role as a leader and you fulfill your mission, or you are discredited.

Leaders understand the moral of the Scottish proverb: “You can never be bound by a promise made recklessly.” Lord Glenarvan's promise was rooted so deeply in the mind and soul of his crew that everything they made issued from it. They many times rushed into the unknown, putting their lives in danger – in the spirit, of course, of finding Captain Grant. And every time, his promise with the value of commitment represented a reason strong enough to follow him.

Ten, nine, eight, seven…

When the signs of a possible crisis, with everything it implies, are increasingly visible, people's state of mind becomes more and more unpredictable, reaching indignation and revolt. The patience of everyone on the ship Duncan was put into pressure when, after months of travel, they had reached exactly the coast of South America, without finding any trace which would indicate the place where Captain Grant could be found.

In that moment, desperate and frustrating, Lord Glenarvan could hardly appease the spirits. He still succeeded through his words full of hope and his tone full of courage and ardor, but it was probably for the last time. Because from that moment on, all his crew members has “started” the countdown. If they failed to track the captain as soon as possible, the last bit of confidence they granted him would totally disappear. And, therefore, the relationship between them would be altered forever.

You can't let people stay too much in stand-by !

People can't encourage themselves all alone. As a leader, you can't expect them to fill with courage and propel themselves forward. Your task is to encourage and help them reach their potential, by giving them the energy to move forward when they stop because of an error. However, you can't let people stay too much in “stand-by”, because they are big consumers of hope. You can't be either overly optimistic and say: “We will wait as long as it is needed.”

People, with all their beliefs, fall into your mission up to a point. Because, absolutely, there is a limit till where they are willing to follow you, the point where the countdown reaches 0. Then, they decide whether it is worth to confide in you and follow you further or leave you for good. They will ask themselves questions like: Where does this guy lead us to? Is it worth to follow him? Will we be safe with him? Then, they will firmly choose the most convenient option.

Conclusion: From the moment you became a leader, the countdown starts. It is up to you when it reaches 0, this point meaning victory or failure.

Throughout the “road”, especially in critical situations, you are the mobilizing factor that maintains the enthusiasm, hope and the proactive attitude of the team. Even in the moments when you have lost your hope, do not externalize yourself in front of the team, but inspire them trust, and, at the same time, strive to find solutions in order to overstep the crisis.

Check out how develops your area of responsibility, by detecting the emotional, mental and behavioral condition of people in decisive moments.

 

Note: Jules Verne - Children of Captain Grant, Ed Herra, 2003.

 

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