The secret to moving and shaking is stirring. Anyone in power can shake and intimidate. Real leaders stir hearts and minds toward powerful possibility. Growing leaders long to be stirred, not shaken.
Shaken Not Stirred
Joe was visibly shaken as he left the readout with the senior team. His results were solid, and he was prepared to share his team’s story. He just hadn’t anticipated that line of questioning. He could feel the conversation going sideways, and then he choked.
He’d seen this movie before, and it doesn’t end well. The questions turned to sarcasm mixed with a few “gotchas.”
He left humiliated, stressed, and worried about what to tell his team. Should he be transparent and expose his fumble? Or downplay it, and buffer the feedback?
The last thing on his mind was how to improve the actual work. Instead he vowed to study more, bring more data, and stay up a bit later to rehearse. He said a little prayer that his career was not too deeply damaged. Joe was shaken, not stirred.
Stirred Not Shaken
Mike was full of anxiety as he approached the leadership readout. Last time, he was caught off guard and he knows the career implications of screwing up twice. When the question came that he couldn’t answer, he instantly felt the blood drain from his face. He stuttered in his response.
The next comment surprised him. “Mike, we know you know your business better than any of us. We just want to help you improve. We are here to support you. Let me rephrase the question.”
What followed was a series of open-ended questions and exciting dialogue. Joe stopped searching for the “right” answer and spoke from his heart.
He shared his latest wild and crazy idea. Everyone chimed in on the pros and cons. He left with tangible feedback on next steps, and areas to improve. He quickly huddled with his team to share the experience and inspire next steps.
He looked forward to the next review to share the team’s progress. Mike was stirred, not shaken. Why do we still have so much shaken going on?