Many of the skills necessary for good leadership involve taking action, lots of communication and a high level of visibility. You need to be comfortable being seen and heard. Today’s post is about the other side of the coin. I believe that in order to be an intelligent, informed, and insightful leader, you also need the capacity to be an observer – unobtrusive and attentive to detail and nuance. Leaders need to know when and how to simply observe.
Food for Thought ~
We all have heard the phrase “the powers of observation.” Being able to discreetly observe, without interference or actively influencing the situation, can be difficult for some people. Yet, the most effective leaders are those who can, when appropriate, shift to a low-profile position and simply notice what’s going on around them. There’s a lot of information available from first-hand observation. Also, it’s risky to always rely on second or third-hand reports from others. Get out with your co-workers, strategic partners, employees, customers, and suppliers. Watch. Listen. Observe. There is much to learn. The seemingly simple skill of quiet observation is very powerful.
Question for the day ~
How would you describe your skill at observation? Do you make it a point to get information first-hand rather than always relying on the interpretations of others?