Remember the scene? The situation looks hopeless. A villain has taken advantage of an innocent bystander in some way. Then the Lone Ranger arrives just in time to save the day. Good prevails over evil. Departing on his white horse Silver, the Ranger would famously say “Hi-yo, Silver, away!” as his horse galloped toward the setting sun to the tune of the William Tell Overture.
When asked about the Lone Ranger, his dependable sidekick Tonto almost always comes to mind. Rarely would an episode feature the Ranger fighting injustice without the aid of his trusting confidant and friend.
Does that same kinship exist in our leadership? Is there such a thing as Lone Ranger leadership?
The quick and most obvious answer is certainly not. But upon deeper thought, often our leadership suffers because of a lack of including others in our crusade and we sometimes miss the mark and take on a lone ranger mentality by not truly involving others in the vision and mission of our future.
Three strategies can help you avoid the traps of going it alone as a leader.
#1 Communicate intentionally
The practice of communicating of and about our vision and goals does not happen by accident. In fact when it does, often the wrong messages or none at all filter to our audience. Find ways to periodically share the vision and goals of your area – why do we do what we do? This intentional messaging links your business activities to vision.
#2 Communicate passionately
While intentional messaging keeps the vision visible, how it is communicated is equally important. Tt is critical to connect with the members of your team in a way he/she can receive it best. It helps them 1) understand the big picture and the day to day connection and 2) buy in and engage with the vision.
#3 Communicate often
Everyone suffers from short-term memory to some extent. When it comes to any business mission, it is important to communicate frequently about the purpose and activities of the business. Talking frequently about progress serves multiple purposes – one of which is energizing those on your team. It’s that little reminder to your team that activities are leading to a goal. It creates teambuilding in its purest sense. Secondly, the frequency in which we share stories and progress helps a team stay on course. The potential to become distracted with ancillary tasks that do not link back to our mission is decreased the more we stay focused on communicating the progress toward our goals.
These principles may not be difficult in concept but unless they are an active part of our leadership, we can become a lone ranger of sorts and sadly, miss the opportunity of engaging others in our endeavors.
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