Was anyone else a big fan of the 1970’s show, The Six Million Dollar Man? I know, your familiarity probably depends on your generation. The series was a favorite of mine, particularly since I followed the career of the show’s star, actor Lee Majors. He portrayed the astronaut Steve Austin who came close to fatal injury during a serious crash in his space capsule.
This was the voice prologue for every show.
“Gentlemen, we can rebuild him. We have the technology. We have the capability to make the world’s first bionic man. Steve Austin will be that man. We can make him better than he was before. Better… stronger… faster.”
He became bionic!
Side note: a similar TV show aired later called The Bionic Woman, in which the character was severely injured in a skydiving accident. And she was Steve Austin’s hometown friend. Both became mission agents for special intelligence. A great leap for gender times.
Okay, I’m back on track.
Now I’m also one of those people who tends to see life imitating art in my work and personal venues. So I see lessons in these TV series for leaders.
Sometimes leaders are literally destroyed in their mission. Causes range from bad decisions, serious mistakes, ineffective management strategy to damaged communications with their team. Or factors beyond their control such as fiscal or human resource issue can create a leadership arena blowout. Yes, leaders can crash and lose mission focus.
How do you make a leadership comeback—better, stronger faster?
For comparison purposes, astronaut Steve Austin was given bionic eyes and limbs to enhance his strength, speed and vision.
In what ways can a leader become bionic?
1. Rework your mission and vision.
What’s the message about your current situation? Don’t be afraid to ask yourself tough questions about where you’ve been and how it affects where you want to go. From pinnacle to blowout, look at the causal implications for what went wrong. As the organizational landscape shifts, be willing to construct a new thing in a new place.
2. Be nimble and alert to new ways of doing the work of leadership.
Today’s workplace issues, whether they are people, performance or process oriented, show up at warp speed. This can make every encounter ripe for a new leadership beginning. Gets some momentum going in your key areas of impact and influence. Rebuild trust with your followers. Inquire for their input. Be quick about engaging in damage control. Communicate consistently, about missteps and miracles to come. Take ownership of your capsule. Strengthen your leadership position.
3. Deploy all of your assets and abilities.
Take inventory of what makes up your best self and extract the critical parts. Plug into those skill sets to reinforce your personal base, mentally and physically. Suit up. Then prepare to blastoff with your new bionics in tow.
The real work of leadership can be exhaustive on all fronts. Explore your core, of motivators and might, that help you make that comeback!
And then think about what it’s worth for you to have a successful leadership launch. Maybe not six million dollars but the returns on investing in a leadership rebuild are worth it!
Author: Paolo Neo