Is Your Brilliance Hiding in Plain Sight?

You have your own way of getting work done through others.  As a manager, your own inherent values and ideas of how the world works (and should work) drive how you handle issues with the human beings in your charge.

Something I notice with my clients and myself is that we often suppress our initial reaction to an issue because we don’t think it’s reasonable or actionable.  Over time I’ve come to realize that our initial reactions — things we just toss off — often reveal something powerful about our leadership approach and philosophy.

Learn from experience.

Early in my career as a corporate employee I found myself challenging my supervisor.  I didn’t like how he was keeping certain employees out of the loop around how their work was changing.  One day in a staff meeting I put him on the spot about it.  Afterward he came to my office, shut the door and proceeded to tell me (in a VERY loud voice) that I would never be management material, and by the way, "whose side are you on?"

Granted, the way I handled myself in the staff meeting was not my finest moment.  I distinctly remember thinking thought, “If this is what it takes to be a manager, I’m going to keep on treating people like human beings and take my chances.”  I suspect my former supervisor would say I needed an attitude adjustment.  In retrospect I realize that, despite my rough start, there was a nugget of something dynamic in my initial reaction. I was committed to treating people at work like human beings.  This is the natural, typical place I start when faced with an issue.

It doesn’t have to be all or nothing.

When looking at decisions or actions, it’s always important to consider all relevant stakeholders, like employees, the organization, customers and even yourself.  And yet, don’t diminish the importance of your unique perspective, and bring it to the table when others may be missing it.

What have you learned about your own brilliance hiding in plain sight?

Image: BigStockphoto contributor Otna Ydur

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