Leading With Enthusiasm
Enthusiasm can be naturally energizing and stimulating. Alternatively, it can be something that feels artificially injected into day-to-day operations dulling the desire to perform well or it can be exaggerated and dysfunctional. Whether your enthusiasm is over the top, under the middle, at the bottom or somewhere in between, it is sure to have an effect on those with whom you work.
When Brendan Rogers invited me to be a guest on The Culture of Leadership (TCoL) Podcast, where he hosts conversations that help people develop and become more confident leaders, I could not pass up the opportunity. It gave me the chance to share my ideas on a topic I feel very strongly about which is leading with enthusiasm.
Leading involves providing guidance. When it comes to guiding performance and the gamut of decisions to make things happen, there are a number of variables that can impact outcomes and which are rarely acknowledged. I call these unquantifiables. We can sense they are present, but we are not likely to directly measure them or their influence. One of these is enthusiasm.
The right amount of enthusiasm will infuse the energy of the team and not separate from it. Enthusiasm can impact focus, attentions to detail, sustained effort, engagement, and timelines among other factors.
How would you describe your enthusiasm? When I am working with team development, some team members may see themselves as being more like the Tortoise in Aesop’s fable about the Tortoise and the Hare. Tortoises are seen to have valuable qualities such as consistency of effort and focus on a goal. Some may see themselves as being more like the Hare. Hares are seen to operate at a faster rate of speed and will often encourage others to pick up the pace. Some see themselves as being a combination of both the Tortoise and the Hare. Preferences may change as task parameters change. I enjoy having members of the team identify their preferred approach and to express gratitude for the balance that having Tortoises and Hares working together brings to getting the job done. You can learn more about this way of building and leading teams in my five-star rated book called Lessons I Learned from the Tortoise, which was written to challenge people to consider mindful change.
Does enthusiasm matter? If enthusiasm begets enthusiasm, enthusiasm becomes the energizer. We all know that every once in a while, the battery in your vehicle needs to be replaced because the energy has drained out of it completely. Let’s keep the battery working by regenerating it with enthusiasm.