The evil Queen in the Snow White fairy tale stood in the mirror every day and asked the question “Mirror, Mirror on the wall, who is the fairest one of all?”
For years, the mirror replied that the Queen was but one day the mirror responded that Snow White was. This enraged the Queen. She ordered a “hit” on Snow White’s life to eliminate her as a threat.
Well, it’s a long story but the paragraph above is what I’m basing today’s blog on.
Many times we work with leaders who want to be seen as “the fairest of them all”.
These leaders do whatever is necessary to remain on their thrones. This includes treating employees like slaves and sometimes they make life so frustrating for their super star performers that eventually they leave. We’ve all heard it enough. People leave people.
This is the type of leader who feels threatened by the talent around them. They are afraid that someone smarter, wiser, younger, more talented, will take their jobs so they essentially put a hit out on those employees.
We could refer to that hit as blacklisting the employee who will never get opportunities to really use his/her talent to help the organization progress. It’s a lose lose situation for both the employee and the organization.
A better way to use the mirror would be to take a good look at your reflection. Leaders who are able to assess their leadership styles know how they need to improve so that they can connect with their teams and really drive team performance. A leader is on a continual growth journey.
What are your strengths? What are your core values? How do you value people? How do you recognize and reward team members? How do you hold team members accountable? Are you fair or is there favoritism in your camp?
Allow the mirror to show you your strengths; this is where you place most of your time and emphasis. When we work in our strength zones, we are happy, more efficient and more confident. We feel good about ourselves.
Allow it to reveal your areas of weakness; this is where you place the person on your team who has this area as his/her strength.
By doing this two amazing things happen.
The first is, the person on your team who is now operating in their strength zone, feels a sense of purpose, they are confident, they are passionate, they feel like they contribute, they are more productive, etc. The second this is they make you look good. Together you fill the gaps.
Allow the mirror to provide you with an accurate reflection of who you are as a person. Use it to identify the characteristics that others associate with you. If any of those need to be improved, work on becoming a better person.
Using the mirror in leadership, allows leaders to have a reflection of how they are leading and of how their team members view them.
Leaders of teams, achieve results through people.
Instead of asking the mirror who is fairest of them all, brag to the mirror that your TEAM is the best of them all.
Remember, “There is no such thing as a self-made man. You will reach your goals only with the help of others.” – George Shin