Leadership: Do you know when to ‘mark it’?
Leadership: Why do it?
I waited patiently in the queue to be served by someone clearly new in his Leadership role. His badge said Trainee Manager. I imagined that I would be greeted by someone eager, enthusiastic and determined to ensure my customer experience was a positive one. Was I right? Nope! I was wrong. He was lifeless. Verging on dead. He was barely going through the motions of serving me: mumbling, not looking at me, sighing, puffing, huffing, making huge assumptions and not even bothering to listen to me and my concerns. I am assuming he has some way to travel to have the word Trainee removed from his badge.
I have talked in many of my other blogs about the need for those in a Leadership role (and I use the term broadly, ie anyone that is required to take responsibility for their choices and their actions) to be fully present.
He was present. But sadly not in the same universe to the one that I was in!
He was marking it!
A big song and dance!
I can categorically state right now, doing 8 shows a week is bloody hard work. If you don’t know, I used to be treading the boards in the West End. When you include clean up rehearsals, understudy calls, cast changes and daily warms up, it is pretty hardcore. Any singer knows that you must spend your energy wisely. Occasionally, we are told to mark it or, without being told, we still mark it!
Marking it requires us to give less than our all! It means we can conserve energy and voice. It eases of the gas a little. As I already said, choosing where and when to spend your energy is critical. I learnt the hard way. Attempting to give my all at EVERY possible moment often left me with nothing left to use by show 6 on an 8 show week. And, let me tell you, that is a BIG problem!
If you find yourself in a Leadership role (and frankly, who isn’t?!) how do you decide when it is ok to mark it and when you need to switch on your all?
Choose, choose, choose.
You may have noticed that the idea of choosing is important to me. We are on this planet to make the most of it. The one thing we have in abundance is choice. Yes, I hear what you’re saying, it doesn’t always feel like that. I agree. Remember though, YOU DO have choice AND every choice comes with a consequence.
Choosing to spend all of my energy and voice in the first half of an 8 show week came at a price for the second half of the week. Going through the motions with customers, also comes with a consequence!
Spending your day zooming through on autopilot is a risky game. I’ve played it a few times. And lost!
So, start choosing.
- Choose the ‘affect’ you want to have
- Choose the behaviour you want to display.
- Choose how you use your voice
- Choose how you listen
- Choose to ‘mark it’
- Choose the stories you make up in your head
- Choose your thoughts
- Choose to subscribe to my blog.
As I said, they all come with consequences!
Marking it can work well if you do it at the right time, in the right place with the right people.
Once you have reflected on this, go and have a read of some of my other blogs over here. You may like to read the Building a team site for more on Leadership, Leadership Training and how we can work with you and your team to create even more choice. You can hear me talking more about my views on Leadership on our Youtube channel