#ThoughtsFromTerry Dispatch w.15.2018
PLUSH STUDIOS/GETTY IMAGES
I am painting a lot these days, trying to get our house ready to put on the market. Long story that I won’t be able to get into now, but Robin, the girls and I are really excited about this next season for us that will include my mom moving to OKC and us relocating closer to where she will reside. My mom sold her house in Texas on the first day is showed. Crazy! There is a lot of work to be done to make all this happen. Your prayers are much appreciated in a season of craziness.
Back to painting. I am not a professional painter, but I have painted a lot in my life, and actually enjoy the process of painting. Often times I can put my headphones on, and get in the zone and enjoy the sense of completion, and excellence of a product delivered. A gift, and a curse of mine when it comes to painting is my attention to detail. A great gift to deliver a solid product, but a curse because I can often get lost in the pursuit of perfection, and loose sight on “excellent enough.” An important lesson we can apply to all areas of our lives; it’s excellent enough.
This painting process has been extremely frustrating, primarily because the previous owner (flipper) did a horrific job painting our home. Massive areas around corners, and baseboards and nooks and crannies that didn’t hardly have any paint on the walls or trim. Crappy patch jobs, and not using painters caulk to seal gaps and trim pieces is just a pet peeve of mine. Over and over I continually called Robin to come see how bad it was. So, what is the learning lesson in all of this...how does this have anything to do with leadership, or life lessons you may be asking? Good question.
Fly High, Fly Low
Years ago I read an article from a entrepreneur who talked about his leadership style of Flying High and Flying Low. I would share it with you, but I can not find it anywhere. He talked about how important it was to fly high to be able to see the big picture, see how everything works together and have altitude on situations. Just like looking out the window in an airplane with flying over your city, you see and understand the city streets better when you are seeing the layout from higher altitude. Flying High is important as a leader. However, Flying Low is also very important, because when you are at altitude you don’t actually see the people walking on the streets, and you surely don’t know who the people are. You also don’t see the trash piled up, and you miss a lot of the details that are very important. Flying Low for leaders is very important to get a pulse and understanding on all areas of an organization.
Painting your house is a great reminder of this principal. When you walk in a home, and stay at a high altitude you might just think all things are great - and the home is in good shape and well taken care of. But when you actually roll up your sleeves, grab a paint brush and a can of paint and get to work, you see the home in a totally different light...a new and different perspective that adds color and additional context to the full picture.
I am not a professional painter, and don't aspire to be one. I am no longer on the front lines or in the deep action at work any longer; however, I still need to roll up my sleeves at times and get highly engaged to have a fully informed and complete picture. The complexity with this process is not undermining your leaders and managers along the way. This is where great leaders separate themselves from just good or average leaders. Great leaders find a way to fly high AND fly low to gain full and complete context and leaving their direct reports feeling valued and a part of the process.
RECOMMENDED WEEKEND READING
What is Your “Average Speed” in Your Life, Your Health, and Your Work?
Really enjoyed this read by James Clear...such a great reminder of the power of habits - and the long game.
Catch up on the Facebook Congressional Hearings
Facebook Congressional Hearing: The Highlight Reel
11 weird and awkward moments from two days of Mark Zuckerberg’s Congressional hearing