Sherman is the best corner-back in the world. After that great play he made against San Francisco in the NFC Championship game, he definitely deserves recognition. With camera’s all around, still very emotional from their very fresh victory and ticket to the Super Bowl, when interviewed, he claimed he was the greatest in the world. You and I wouldn’t do that, would we? Of course not – we would thank our teammates, and those around us who have helped us get to such a place where we could use our abilities to be a game changer. Exactly how hard is it to be recognized for doing something great? How long should you revel in the glory so to speak? Humility and leadership rarely go hand in hand, but when they are both present, well, you have probably read Good To Great by now and have insight into the humble nature and game changing difference of a level five leader.
Recently I had the opportunity to receive an award from an amazing organization that our company does business with. This company recognized me for giving back to the industry. The thought of being recognized for giving made me feel very proud and I grew with anticipation as I looked forward to the event. On the way there I was somehow shuffled to first class and as I boarded the plane I texted my friend a bible verse from the beatitudes, something I have been reading about lately. “The meek shall inherit the earth,” I texted as I embarked on this first class experience. This was perhaps a difficult start to my humble acceptance of a great award. The two day event included an interview on the stage and the award acceptance in front of the whole organization. I did my best to be gracious, but the attention was nearly overwhelming. “I am the best CIO in the world!” Thank God those words did not come out of my mouth, nor were they really in my mind but the door frames were too little and my head was definitely too big. As a leader, how you respond to these situations is almost as important and telling as how you respond to high stress and difficult circumstances.
As Chris said in his post a few weeks ago, All Eyes Are On You, people are watching. If your team senses your arrogance, even slightly, your influence as a leader is in jeopardy. Once they sense you thinking it is more about you then it is about the mission, they will start to withdraw and lose focus. It always has to be about the mission and not about any one individual. Recognition is good and important, but always in context to the mission and the team. This promise award I received from The Breakaway Group was truly an honor, an honor I will share with my team as we continue to advance and give back to our industry together.