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Lightning and Thunder: How your curiosity as a leader can serve you and your people better

 In Communication, Culture, Leadership
A couple of days ago, as I was driving across town, I peered over my steering wheel. I was captivated by the lightning that flashed vividly in the distance.

Lightning is a magnificent and scary thing all at once. In a moment, it eradicates darkness. In the next, it is gone—shortly after comes a deafening roar of thunder, which can be heard near and far.

As I drove in the direction of the lightning, a question came to mind.

How does lightning form? 

And then another question surfaced in my mind.

How often do we as leaders in organizations notice something and keep on driving? 

As I neared my destination, I was transfixed on those two questions. I could not remember how or why lightning was so beautiful, and thunder made such a startlingly loud noise. I am positive some of my elementary school teachers would wave their finger in my direction, reminding me which chapter of our science book this came out of. However, I could not recall how lightning happened on this particular morning for some reason. So, I spent a bit too much time looking it up. Should this stump you as it did me, a link at the bottom provides a much deeper understanding.

However magnificent lightning and thunder may be, as people-leaders, we have something much more powerful and complex within our organizations—our people.

We often say that people do what they do for a good reason; it just may not necessarily be the same reason as yours.

As leaders—it’s up to us to find out what it is.

So, I think the better question is—How do we curiously engage with our people? How do we find out what makes them strike?

Leadership is much less about knowing how you strike—it’s about helping your people discover and harness their power to strike. After all, the mark of a great leader is not their accomplishments but how well they have helped others accomplish. We like to say leadership is taking people places they would not or could not go on their own.

That’s a big call-out and weighty responsibility—but chances are, if you’re reading this, it’s because you want to grow and develop your people. So stay in it—we want to walk with you, so you can better walk with your people.

Below are a few tips as you practice exploring with your people:

  • Stay curious and engage with your people by asking questions to which you don’t have answers.
  • Suspend judgment by taking yourself out of it. It’s much easier to tell your people what you think, how you think they should do it, or where they should go. Don’t take the easy way out.
  • Create a space for more meaningful face-to-face dialogue.
Should you choose to press in curiously, you will participate in cultivating a more collaborative culture while developing trust and a shared purpose throughout your organization.

Maybe we as leaders can ponder less about the why behind the what of our lightning and thunder and press into our people as they discover the what, how, and where they’d like to strike on behalf of the organization.

We may not always be able to understand what’s happening in our organizations. Still, the more we lean into our people curiously, the less we will waste energy wondering about the why behind the what. We consistently see that organizations that allocate more energy toward connecting and working with their people produce better results.

If the concept of lightning, thunder, and engaging with your people seems odd, don’t worry. It’s not the norm in the traditional leadership style. However, it’s coming, and we can walk with you as you navigate the changing of the weather within your organization.

Schedule a strategy session with us today!

Until next time,

Think of DRYVE Leadership Group as your organization’s guide to better walking with your people, developing a shared purpose, and cultivating a collaborative culture that will DRYVE better business results. Also—if interested—you can learn much more about the why behind the what of lightning and thunder here —-> Thunder & Lightning.  
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