One of the major challenges of leadership and something that often leads to leadership ineffectiveness is the fact that leaders don’t stay in their lane. By staying in their lane, I’m referring to focusing on the things that they are responsible for. It means being a student of themselves, a student of their environment and truly having the self-awareness to know the who, when and what of leadership.
I have been in New York City for the last couple of days. Not only have I been in NYC, I’ve been driving in NYC. Driving in NYC is a crazy experience, especially when you are not a local or a cab driver. People honk at you, give you the bird and attempt to run you over. What I came to realize very quickly was this: As long as I stayed in my lane and focused on my GPS destination, I was going to be alright. I could care less about the honking, birds, the yelling and aggressiveness of others, I simply had to stay in my lane.
The funny thing about staying in my lane and smiling at all of the craziness around me, is noticing that most of the “crazies” were a lot of bark and not a lot of bite. If I focused on them, I would miss an exit and the GPS would have to re-calculate. This basically slowed my progress towards my destination. As long as I stayed in my lane, stayed focused, realized I wasn’t a crazy NYC driver and I had an overall productive NYC driving experience.
The same thing is true for leadership. When leaders get out of their lane, try to do too much, focus on what others think and what others are doing; they find themselves in trouble. Leaders must learn to simply stay in their lane, know when to get out of their lane, understand how their driving affects others and ultimately remain focused on the destination. Leaders who lead outside of their lane, generally end up in a wreck.
Staying in your lane as a leader doesn’t mean you can’t challenge things, nor does it doesn’t mean things don’t change lanes. It simply means know when, where, why and how to change.
Leading In Your Lane is about leading with extreme self-awareness. The more self-aware you are, the better leader you will be.