And so, here we are. You’ve walked with me down the path from mentor to manager to senior leader. Along the way I hope that you’ve learned a few tricks, identified a few pitfalls to watch out for, and felt inspired to meet the challenge of whatever role you’re in.
The most important lesson I’ve learned is that you have to be able to manage yourself if you want to be good at managing others. The more time you spend understanding yourself, the way you react, the things that inspire you, and the things that drive you crazy, the better off you will be.
Great managers are masters of working through conflict. Getting good at working through conflict means getting good at taking your ego out of the conversation. To find a clear view of a complex situation, you must see past your interpretations and the stories you’re telling yourself. If you want to be able to tell people hard things and have them hear what you have to say, you must be able to tell them without embellishing the facts with your storyline. People who seek out management roles often have strong views on how things should be. That decisiveness is a good quality, but it can hinder you when you fail to see your interpretation of a situation is just that: an interpretation.
Learning to recognize the voice of your ego is one of the benefits of meditation, and when I wrote the first draft of this book it included a series of meditations at each level. For me, having a meditation practice has been essential ...