I was cruising on my motorcycle the other day (before fall/winter whacked Seattle upside the head) and noticed that I was a bit preoccupied with the speeds and rhythms of those around me. Bikers have to have eyes on all sides of their heads to keep from getting creamed, but beyond that, I need to make my journey. "It’s my ride," I said to myself and flowed into a much better biking groove.
I was on the elliptical trainer at the gym today and was noticing the folks around me and who they were noticing. It was a bit distracting. I closed my eyes, let my iPod take me away and into my own best pace and rhythm and said, "It’s my ride."
Over the weekend, I was thinking about my business and where I want to take it. During the last month, I have connected with lots of people like me and noticed what they are doing and how they are running their businesses. Benchmarking the cool things people are doing is fun and important to keep fresh and relevant – that said, so much of what other people are doing just doesn’t seem like me. This weekend, I leaned back in my chair, put on some thinking music and said, "It’s my ride."
And when I was a manager, I needed to tell myself the same thing and it worked very well. When leading inside an organization, we can get overwhelmed and distracted by everything that’s going on and by comparing what we are doing to how others are doing it. Learning, getting feedback and benchmarking best practices is important and helpful. Managing is tough stuff. Dysfunction, change, and opportunity make our jobs more complex. But that’s why we lead, right? We each need to define and manifest the managerial experience that fits our style because that is what will help us be most effective – the best expression of our unique excellence.
Sure, we need to develop important managerial and leadership fundamentals, but then, "it’s our ride."
Whose ride are you on?