Since the economic crisis and with all that’s currently happening in Europe, the word “bailout” is being bandied about a lot. I don’t know about you, but I have from time to time needed a bailout of some kind.
I remember getting my first Credit Card. Having come from a culture of “never get into debt” and “credit cards are part of the ‘anti-Christ’” (which I sometimes think they may be J), I felt almost guilty owning one. It had a limit of R2500.00 – now there’s a huge debt potential!
I was convinced that I was going to be one of those Credit Card users that bring their debt balance back to zero every month. But before I could say, “Visa, Master Card and American Express” I had maxed out my card. Don’t know how it happened, but I needed a bailout!
But there are some bailouts that are as important, if not more important than the monetary ones we so often need. These are the leadership bailouts after making leadership blunders. There is a lot written and spoken about leadership and leadership mistakes, but the here are some leadership bailouts that have helped me get bailed out of some the leadership blunders I have made.
- “Face the brutal facts”. This idea comes from Jim Collins’ book “Good to Great”. I couldn’t agree more with Collins about our propensity to deceive ourselves. Let’s face it, the Titanic was unsinkable.
- “Clarify the mission”. I think it was Bill Hybels who said one of the greatest gifts you can give an employee is clarity. Again, I think this could be taken one step further. Clarifying your own mission or vision helps you to get back on track.
- “There is no Silver Bullet”. I have found that generally the bailout is often slow and painful. One-step-at-a-time stuff. I think that the best way out is one clear step at a time.
- “A few things done well are better than lots of things done in a mediocre way”. I remember Craig Groeschel saying their church did 5 things really well. They said “no” to a bunch of things even though they were good things. I am a convert to the idea of being as clear about what I don’t do as I am about what I do do!
- “Have lightening rods”. Wayne Cordeira suggested that every leader has to have a lightening rod or two. Someone who can “earth” your highly charged circumstances and reactions. Over the years I have had two friends that I can “download” or “off load” onto without judgment or counsel. Sometimes a bailout is just having a trusted friend who can “absorb” your “charge”, earth it and move on without comment.
I hope you get all the Bailouts you need.