Today is Halloween. And while I’m not a fan of ghosts and zombies, I am a fan of writing a post that creatively ties leadership to what’s happening in the world today. It is a challenge I face as eagerly as I use to set out to eat all the chocolate in my Halloween candy within the first 24 hours when I was an adolescent.
Today ghosts and zombies aren’t just relegated to a single day of the year, there are comic book series and even TV shows. The Walking Dead is a great example. The Walking Dead premiered on October 31, 2010, on the cable television channel AMC. The series has been well received and has received many award nominations including ones for the Writers Guild of America Award and a Golden Globe Award for Best Television Series (Drama).
So with that as the back drop I want to give you a few clues you might be leading the walking dead and what you can do about it.
People with an Apocalyptic Mindset – whether they are pre- or post- these individuals are always focused on the disaster, it’s ramification and how it is surely to be the end of it all. And when they can’t find a disaster to focus on they will look with suspicion and eagerness until they find signs that could potentially, maybe, give inkling to when the next disaster might happen.
Flesh eating Zombies – these are those mindless individuals that are always looking to eat a piece of you…particularly your brain. They rarely think for themselves but are always looking to drain the blood right out of you.
The Survivors – these are those who have survived an encounter with the flesh eating zombies but have been traumatized by the encounter. They are unable to function properly because they are dealing with the wake of emotions from the encounter – how they survived, how they have been changed from the attack, trying to figure out what life looks like after the encounter. The survivors are riddle with emotion and confusion.
The Authorities – these are the people that are the designated leaders, that should know the answers, have the tools and resources to make an impact. have access to people who can help. Yet when they get stumped with a problem and are unable to figure out a solution on the first try (maybe the second) they give up. Not just give up but convince others to give up as well.
So what’s the answer? How do you kill a zombie? Technically (according to the TV program) you shoot them in the head. It’s the only way to kill them. Injuries anywhere else don’t solve the problem. But when it comes to the people you lead shooting them in the head is not the answer. Besides you don’t need them dead (and walking dead isn’t working) you need them alive – really ALIVE! And the way you get them alive is not wrapping their head around a bullet but wrapping their head around their purpose. Yes – the answer to leading a team that is alive and vibrant is making sure they are provided the life giving vision of purpose. And not just the organizations purpose but how their individual purposes fits into the bigger purpose and vision of the organization.
How do you connect to your purpose on a regular basis? How do you connect the people you lead regularly to their purpose and the organizations purpose? Your turn to chime in on how you keep life and energy in your team and fight off the zombies.