Road Trip to Sustainable Leadership
December 7, 2022
3 minute read – When the going gets tough, the tough get going, but the tough might also be getting tired. Knowing that the world isn’t slowing down any time soon, it is essential that you are taking actions to ensure that you can sustain your leadership team and your financial institution through the next set of challenges on the continuous road to success.
Like any good road trip, the path to sustainable leadership requires strategic planning, a well-matched group of people, and snacks, of course. There are a few key elements to keep in mind in order to map out the optimal path. Consider the following questions as you evaluate how well your leadership team has been setting themselves up for sustainable success:
- You are the Chief Mood Officers, setting the tone of the ride for your organization. Are you excited for the challenges ahead? Or are you dreading the potential potholes along the way? How each of you shows up helps determine how well you are able to overcome unexpected roadblocks. Consider what ground rules you have established to hold each other accountable. Inevitably, the perpetual motion wears on everyone in the car – do you have a plan for rectifying a foul mood?
- You have your hands on the wheel, aiming towards your destination. Are you clear on where you want to go? How do you prioritize where your attention lands? Are you allowing yourselves to get distracted by the billboards along the way? Or caught up in the bickering in the backseat? Being able to prioritize the high impact items will lead you towards your destination.
- Even the most talented drivers need a breather from behind the wheel. Knowing the strengths and weaknesses of each person on your road trip can facilitate the best journey; That also means knowing when you need to share responsibilities. How are you delegating to those around you? Be wary of dangerous signals such as, “It’s easier if I do it myself” or “I’ll just figure it out.” Make sure you have built a leadership team that trusts each other behind the wheel. Similarly, don’t be afraid to listen to each other. Strive to cultivate a team who can give fresh insight and is willing to call out a wrong turn.
- Consider the pressure points in your institution. Who seems to be depended upon the most? While it can be tempting to ask IT for a six-lane expressway in this digital world, explore what a two-lane highway might allow you to do with less dependency on IT. Bigger is not always better if you are strained for resources. Consider how you can fine-tune or modify elements of the financial institution you have already developed; You don’t have to buy a brand-new car because the gas tank is empty.
- Lastly, make sure you celebrate successes. Remember, you are the Chief Mood Officers, and a road trip should be fun. Allowing moments to celebrate what has gone well and soaking in the sights along the way, will help you sustain yourselves for the long haul.
There is no one path to success since the future is full of unknowns, but an exhausted driver is not a sustainable driver. Taking steps to ensure you’re set up for longevity not only means being ready to go the distance, but the ride might be more enjoyable, too.