Do you ever have one of those moments when you have to stop to think about how to spell a word you use all the time? For some reason the word of often grinds my brain to a brief halt. I have to think, how do I spell the word “of” Listen, when I went to elementary school we learned reading using Phonics! I realize I probably just dated myself but let’s move on.
So we know that phonics won’t help us in spelling the word of, so this means we need our brain to switch gears and use our rote memory. Meanwhile, our language processing in the brain isn’t just about if we can spell the word. We have to be able to understand and apply it in sentences in a way that is appropriate. Of course, despite my spelling challenge from time to time, I think I have this one down.
How does this relate to leadership skills?
As my mind was mindlessly wandering all over this funny little word it reminded me of a leader I had worked with previously. When you watch someone talk at their team about values, expectations and how to communicate, then watch them do the complete opposite it creates a massive vacuum in the team. The loud sucking noise was deafening. She had memorized all the right words to say, and could even use them correctly in a sentence. However, when it came to displaying understanding through modeling it in her own behaviour, she would have sent any leadership or communication consultant into a panic attack.
Do you know someone who this brings to mind? Someone who knows all about leadership in a way that allows them to dictate word for word the things a real leader should say but doesn’t really get it. And do you know someone who can use those words in a way that models leadership accurately, flexibly and with the end goal in mind?