Lighthouse Leadership: Being the Light
Over the last few years, sales people have had their challenges due to many circumstances in the marketplace. Most of the external issues were not caused by salespeople or managers for the most part, unless you are talking about the banking industry. I think they contributed a little to our current situation.
A recent example of Lighthouse Leader would be the President of the United States, Barack Obama, who ran on the premise of Lighthouse Leadership. People were hungry for a new leader, someone that would help lead them out of the economic turmoil and help create a unified United States. Barack Obama ended up winning the election with a historic number of voters that wanted this kind of new leadership.
The business community wants the same thing, but they are not in need of just good leadership. They are in need of GREAT leadership. If you are directly responsible or want to lead people, you need to give them Lighthouse Leadership.
What is lighthouse leadership? Let’s define the elements.
Lighthouse: The leader or person of influence.
Ships: They are the people you lead.
The Light: This is the direction, warning or advice to guide the ships to port.
Port: Their goals…not yours!
Here are three important tips for lighthouse leadership.
1) The lighthouse has a grave responsible to help each ship chart their course to help them navigate safely to their port. The lighthouse has two major responsibilities. During the daylight, it is a landmark for ships to easily identify their location and it will notify any ship of something unusual that could harm the ship. The real job of the lighthouse is at night, especially a stormy night. When the night sky is pitch black and the heavens release their fury, this is when the ships appreciate strong leadership. The captains will place their ego aside and listen to the instructions and use the light given by the lighthouse. No matter how many times that captain has sailed that sea, they tend to honor the lighthouse’s directions.
2) Assess the right course for each ship separately. The ships are at different points within the sea and therefore need different guidance to get to port. When the sea is rough, your ships will be scared and nervous. They want to reach their goals but they will question your guidance because they are scared. Don’t let them influence the course that you know is right.
3) Lighthouse Leadership is needed by your organization. You must remain strong to the “Light” you are giving to your team. You cannot allow the captain of the ship to derail your directions because it can be fatal for them and you. Remember, you have the light. That is why you have the job.
Here is a video to symbolize Lighthouse Leadership at its best.