Lately, we have heard a lot about the apparent lack of leadership displayed by the captain of the cruise ship that hit the rocks off the coast of Italy. Instead of staying on board and assisting in the evacuation of passengers and staff, there are numerous accounts that he fled the scene. The captain of the ship was missing in action at a critical time.
It is during the tough times that a leader shows what he or she is really made of. When a team is challenged to complete a particularly difficult task or to achieve a seemingly impossible goal, M.I.A. leadership can take on a whole different meaning. Positive M.I.A. leadership means practicing the following:
Motivation: When faced with a difficult challenge, it can be tough to keep going. It can be tempting to give up in despair. An M.I.A. leader recognizes the challenge, doesn’t try to gloss it over, but instead share the realities and the possibilities. An M.I.A. leader doesn’t use fear or dire predictions of what will happen if the team fails, but instead focuses on the positives and the benefits of success.
Inspiration: M.I.A. leaders would never dream of being the first to jump ship when times get tough. M.I.A. leaders join their team in the trenches; they lead by example, inspiring team members to take on the challenge and work together towards success.
Appreciation: It is human nature to want recognition for a job well done. M.I.A. leaders recognize and acknowledge the efforts of their team. Most challenges are completed one small step at a time. M.I.A. leaders acknowledge and appreciate the small wins along the way, not just the big one at the end. M.I.A. leaders ensure their team knows they are appreciated and valued, during the good times and the bad.
M.I.A. leaders accept the responsibilities that come with leadership, including their responsibility to their team. They know motivation, inspiration and appreciation create an environment conducive to the growth of a team, willing and able to face difficult tasks and challenges. The next time you are faced with the challenge of leading a team through rough waters, remember M.I.A.