Front-Line Management 101: Concrete Shoes Never Leave the Path

If you never step out of your comfort zone, you’re not supporting your team by being the leader they need you to be.

Being a leader is scary. That said, what’s the worst that can happen if you take a chance on a leadership decision you’ve been contemplating? Someone doesn’t like you? You fail at a project? You don’t get the promotion right away?

All of those could happen—and then you would move on, because you’re a leader, and that is what leaders do. If you never step out of your comfort zone, you’re not supporting your team by being the leader they need you to be. Concrete shoes never leave the path. If you are afraid to do something that’s never been done because you don’t know what will happen, you will never make an impact or push the limits on what your team can do.

How do you take a calculated risk and allow yourself to leave the (comfortable) path that only leads straight ahead?

Here are three suggestions:

  1. Find the fork in the road. And intentionally choose the harder way. Ask the tough questions. Take on the difficult project or employee.
  2. Bend a few spoons. Challenge the status quo. Even if you are in a culture that does not allow for out-of-the box thinking, continue to insert your voice—with your team, peers, and leaders.
  3. Take the knife and cut. Don’t complain about the way things always are. Change them. If it’s not going to burn the building down (so to speak!), try it out. You may find your change may not even be noticed. Or it could have the impact you sought.

This month, try on a new pair of shoes. You may be surprised by where they take you.

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