Open or Closed?
Dr. Cloud asked which type of system you are creating. One creates a culture of energy and innovation, which enhances long term growth or the other. The one that locks down your team and creates the potential to spiral down into chaos. Cloud connected the closed system to the second law of thermodynamics.
So here’s a quick aside for the science teachers out there. Simply stated, Lucas explained the second law of thermodynamics means systems left unto themselves will tend towards disorder (What is the Second Law of Thermodynamics, Jim Lucas, 2015, para. 1). A leader who isolates their team, including themselves, runs the risk of being isolated.
It may be lonely at the top, but that doesn’t mean that you don’t have a support system. Thinking that you can do it all and that you can solve everything jeopardizes the success of your entire team. What you need most as a leader is an outside support system that helps you look after your professional and personal development. As Cloud noted,
“Leaders need outside voices to provide emotional and functional support, not just so they can avoid mistakes but also so they can grow as leaders” (p. 201).
What’s the lesson?
- There will always be new situations that we encounter as leaders. Having a trusted external support system in place enables you, as a leader, to have a sounding board that will give you honest feedback (p. 202-203).
One thing to keep in mind as you build your support network, is the law of association. In Go Pro, Eric Worre (2013), reminded us of a lesson that he learned from Jim Rohn. Your associations matter. The law of association says
“you’ll become the average of the five people you spend the most time with. You’ll think how they think, act how they act, talk how they talk and earn how they earn.” (p. 131).
Eric Worre shared this video with his viewers:
Who are you surrounding yourself with? Do they provide you with honest feedback? Do they encourage you to grow outside your comfort zone? While being surrounded by people that agree with everything you say and do may be easy and comfortable. They aren’t going to step up and make you think, they aren’t going to challenge you to do more and become more. The people around you shape you more than you realize.
So are you open to feedback, energy and ideas that can come from outside your network and the diversity within your network that can help you grow stronger? Both Cloud and Worre highlighted the value of ongoing professional development. You have to work on yourself to truly become a leader worth following!
After all, “life begins a the end of your comfort zone“
(Neale Donald Walsch).