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Boundaries for Leaders – Results, Relationships, and being Ridiculously in Charge

boundaries for leadersEvery leader has a particular pair of glasses they tend to see their world through. It’s this perspective that shapes their leadership approach and ultimately the teams and organizations they lead. Some leaders see the world through market and customer glasses, others through financial glasses, yet others through product and service glasses.

The first glasses I pick up are the people glasses. I see every organization, its mission and performance, in terms of people. I believe it is people who create products, who understand markets, relate to customers and ultimately produce financial results. People are the center of my leadership world.

This is why I’m drawn to writers and consultants who see the world in this same way. For example I’m a fan of Dr. Henry Cloud and his books. He sees leadership and organizations through people glasses. So when he publishes a new book I immediately read it, looking for the nuggets I can apply in my leadership context.

In his most recent book, Boundaries for Leaders, Dr. Cloud provides a helpful combination of neuroscience, psychology, leadership and common sense with real life illustrations from his work.

For example, he makes the case that leaders need to lead in such a way that it aligns with how people’s brains work. People’s brains need to have three “executive functions” or processes to achieve any goal, vision or objective be it driving a car or leading an organization. They are:

  1. Attention: the ability to focus on the right things
  2. Inhibition: the ability to avoid the things that keep us from achieving our goals
  3. Working memory: retain and access to the right information in order to make decisions and take action

This new insight led me to a helpful personal leadership evaluation by asking myself the following three questions:

“Do I keep our team focus on the right things?”

“Am I helping our team avoid distractions from the right things?”

“Does our team have access to the right information at the right time to do what they need to do?

Now it’s simply up to me to have the Attention, Inhibition, and Working memory necessary to make the right changes in these areas for the benefit our people and ultimately for the benefit of SpringHill.

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