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high ground

Oh, the vortex of humanity is powerful.  It is easy for leaders to get sucked down into issues and situations that limit the visibility necessary to lead the organization.   It is a common trap, a suck that pulls leaders into places they have no business occupying.  Worse, most do not realize it is happening until it is too late. Remember the analogy of the monkeys.  A subordinate comes into your office with a problem (monkey); it is common for them to attempt to leave their monkey in your office.  If you allow them to do so, you (as the leader) end up with an office full of monkeys that prevent you from leading the organization.  I know, I know, they are so cute, and you like them.  Stop!  In some cases, bringing the monkey in is fine.  However, it will help if you made sure they leave your office with the same monkey they brought in.  Um, excuse me; please take your monkey with you when you go.  Thank you!

As a leader, you must maintain a distant view.  Some call it the ten thousand foot perspective.  As a leader, you are responsible for everything.  You own it all; good and not-so-good.  Tolerating excuses keeps the monkey in your office.  You have limited bandwidth as the leader, and you become ineffective when you are spread too thin.  The skill to detach is essential to maximizing your contribution to the team as the leader.

You get to train and help your team but not do their work for them unless you are willing to allow other parts of the organization to suffer.  The number twelve is an analogy.  Your brain has twelve units of power each day.  Suppose you allow one issue to consume all twelve units. In that case, you become baked (D.O.N.E).  If you allow twelve units to consume one problem each, you have exhausted your ability to lead the organization.  You need to detach from issues and get your units of brain power back.  Each unit is the ammunition necessary to lead the organization for the next problem and opportunity.    

Think of yourself, like Velcro.  Once a problem, challenge, or opportunity presents itself, you become attached to it.  It takes skill to peel the Velcro off and remain unencumbered by your team.  Detachment means you can see the entire battlefield from a hill.  Every time you run down the slope, you lose perspective, and your team becomes exceptionally vulnerable to attack.  As a leader, you must always maintain the high ground.  Subordinates can come up the hill with an issue, but they cannot take you back down with them.  If they do so, you lose perspective and become blinded by the situation.

This essential leadership skill becomes hampered by the desire to help and serve others.  We do like those damn monkeys and enjoy taking care of them, mostly if their monkey was our own at one time.  We revert to the part of the organization from which we came.  If you were the C.F.O. and now you are the C.E.O., you like that financial monkey a lot! 

You are the chief decision-maker for the organization, and you must maintain that perspective.  You have the overall mission to consider.  Your ego is the problem...

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