This is a new Zoo review of a bit of a different flavor than the kid’s show I used to watch growing up. (wow, did I just date myself?) These are some thoughts on how the new movie “ZooKeeper” with Kevin James, just might apply to leadership.
Be Cautious How Much Power You Give the “Animals”
Okay, so you’re likely not working with bears, giraffes, elephants, lions, and monkeys, but some days it might feel that way. Do you give those external sources of information more power than you should as the leader? Hmmmm… maybe. It’s always important to follow your instincts. Listen to what you know to the be the right direction for YOU and for the team you have the privilege of leading. Be careful how much power you give those external influences who will always have their own needs and personal agendas – not in a bad way, but becuase that is how we are wired. We look out for us almost always and almost always without conscious realization that this is what we’re doing. If you’ve been given the privilege of leading, make sure that those outside voices don’t drown out the wise one inside of you.
Do Listen to Those You Might Consider Vastly Different
And even if you do work with “animals” or maybe those you call “difficult” or “different”, conflicting opinions are not only contagious, but can and do spark creativity. Take the time to listen to those opinions who are vastly different than your own and value the wisdom that comes from the experience and travels and workings of others. At first you might dismiss the idea, but part of brainstorming is using each idea as a stepping stone to elevate the teamwork and your leadership effectiveness for the betterment of all.
Pay Attention to What’s Right in Front of You
I don’t want to spoil the ending of the movie for you, but sometimes when we’re all busy looking for the perfect person outside of our organization or team, to fill a role we have vacant, we miss that person who has an internal kernal of potential that just needs polishing. Consistently evaluating the growth, skill development needs, potential, and willingness of internal team members who may not DO the job now, but could, can save you tons of time, effort, and energy in having to assimilate a new person into an already well functioning team.
Leadership lessons exist everywhere…and many times, as a big movie fan, I see them at the movies. Where do you see them?
Stay Contagious and of course, lead well, too!
Monica Wofford, MBA, CSP, is an international speaker, trainer, and author who helps managers who were promoted, actually become prepared to lead.