Leadership takes time.
There are times I should’ve let go of many people in my company, including myself! WOW, I said it. I probably should’ve been fired because in a few areas I have been stuck with the leadership process.
I can remember when I started my apprenticeship at Vidal Sassoon, and thought that I already had the understanding of what a great haircut was supposed to look like. As I went through my training, I realized there was a big gap from where I was at to what their standard of haircutting was. It was a long process that I needed to go through. I had to train my eye to see the attention-to-detail that was needed.
There was so much more to meeting their standards than I knew. I needed to grow my eye, understand the basics, and start over. I needed to practice. Even if that meant cutting the same haircut 100 times, watching endless videos, or staying up all night annoying friends that were ahead of me in the process. That’s what it takes to be a great leader.
As John Maxwell would say “We want to microwave leaders when we should be using the crock pot.”
I’ve had my business for 14 years while rapidly working on self-improvement as a leader. My business has changed many times over because I have grown and improved my leadership, the standard of myself, and my company.
Actually, I would venture to say that I should have sold this business and restarted it a few times. Having gone through “growth spurts” had raised my level of awareness. Why? The more we work on ourselves, the more it raises our business potential. It raises the bar for everyone in the company.
The challenge with that from an entrepreneurial perspective is, the business plateaus and you realize you must change in order to go further. This is a painful insight, because not everyone will like the changes you make. Maybe some people want to settle for mediocrity, Some people may just not want to change themselves.
After you grow to the next level, it’s impossible go backwards. It’s like cutting your first perfect Bob; you can’t now knowingly turn around and start cutting a bad one! You have now made a paradigm shift.
Another way to look at it is from a parenting perspective:
If you have many children, you’ve changed your parenting approach somewhere in between the oldest child and the youngest because you now know what works and what doesn’t. As a result, you now have raised your awareness and can’t return to the old ways.
Your perspective on things has changed and you should really celebrate!
Process is a difficult thing because you can’t make it go any faster. It’s going to take as long as it needs until you learn how it works. Have you ever felt that the same things happen to you over and over? It’s not a coincidence – it‘s happening because you have not mastered the process.
“It’s not the destination…it is the journey that takes you there”
What does the Leadership Process look like? It is different for all of us; this is why we should never compare ourselves to anyone. We all have our own map.
I recently started to take up yoga. I began about a month ago and it has been a grueling experience. I realize that I am the least flexible person on the planet. I have been frustrated, sore, and ready to give up some mornings!
During the holiday I received a book from a dear friend called, “How Yoga Works”. I started to read through the pages, and the first thing I said to myself is, “If this doesn’t have anything to do with personal growth then I can’t read it!”
As I really forced myself to read on, I realized it was all about understanding the process of yoga. In one part they talk about a man that is learning yoga:
He has a really bad back, can hardly bend, and is trying to rush through the movements. As a result, he ends up getting hurt.
The yoga mentor tells him, “You can’t rush through the postures. They all depend on one another to get you to where you are going”. She then piles a stack of paper as high as his knees and says, “Every day you can take one piece of paper away and stretch just that much further.”
His response as you can imagine, was one of frustration: “This is going to take all year to get to the bottom of this pile.” She responds with,” It will take you as long as it takes you”.
You can’t quickly learn yoga, cutting hair, or leadership.
Enjoy the journey!