My Leader Didn’t Show Up – What Am I Going To Do?
I was recently on our family vacation and I had signed up for the 07:00 AM spin class. I got up at 06:30 and walked to the fitness center. Three of us were there for the class.
As we were setting up our bikes, the fitness center manager came in and said, “The spin instructor has called in sick and won’t be teaching class today.”
At this moment, all three of us have a choice to make. The first guy, who had his own spin shoes, says, “G-D(another version of GD), this is the second time this week this class has been cancelled, this place is garbage.” The lady then says, “OK, well I tried, I’m going for a mimosa.” I said, “I don’t need the instructor to get a ride in. I’m going to take a bike outside, turn on my playlist and go for it.”
As I did, the employees were looking at me funny (I am sure I was the first person to ever do this), and the fitness center manager said, “What are you doing?” I said, “The spin instructor called in, I wanted a ride and it was too cold in there so I brought the bike out here. Would you take my picture for an article I’m going to write?” She said, “Sure. Cool.”
There are two lessons I took from this spin class.
Lesson #1: I’m responsible for me
I control my attitude and my actions. The leader has influence, but ultimately my attitude and my actions I own. I wanted to get something out of this hour and I did. I have found I do the same when my flight is delayed or someone cancels a meeting with me, I don’t invest much time thinking, “why is this happening to me?”, I invest my time turning adversity into something productive and positive.
Lesson #2: How is my team reacting and acting when I’m not there
It’s not uncommon for me to hear, “my team is only really productive when I’m there”. However, there is an increase in leaders responsible for multiple locations, multiple teams, and even virtual teams. When you’re the leader, what happens when you are not around?
Is your team still productive or do things fall apart? Do projects stay on track or come off the rails? Do your captains run practice or does everyone goof off? How could you check to see what is happening when you’re not there?
There’s an old saying, “When life hands you lemons, make lemonade”. There’s no shortage of lemons, now go make some lemonade.