A few days ago, I read a post from Seth Godin that I thought was an incredible reminder for every leader in any season of life. Here is the essential takeaway from the post:Whoever sets the agenda owns your best work.
While Seth’s post may hint that being your own boss is the only way to accomplish anything meaningful, I don’t think that’s always the case. From another perspective, this is a good reminder that it is your responsibility as the leader to set the agenda for the people you lead.
People are looking to you to set the agenda.
What does this mean for leaders?
Leadership that impacts the lives of others does so by setting the agenda. While unexpected events will need to be managed in the moment, leadership isn’t reactionary. If you wait for someone else to set the agenda, your influence isn’t as solid as you may think. If someone or something else is setting the agenda, then it is leading the way—not you.
Your effectiveness as a leader is directly related to your ability to establish an agenda that is helping people succeed. It’s your responsibility to set the tone of your organization. Whether people sit around and wait for you to tell them to do something or proactively work to solve problems is partly due to your ability to set an agenda that creates that culture.
Leaders, it’s important to be intentional about the agenda you’re setting for the group of people you lead. Are you filling their time with pushing papers and maintaining the status quo or are you setting the agenda for them to solve real problems and make a tremendous impact in the work they are doing every day?
It is possible for you to be the kind of leader that sets the agenda and sits back and expects results. It’s an entirely different kind of leader that sets the agenda and then helps people own their work. That is the type of leader that makes an organization extraordinary. That is the kind of leader people want to work with. Therefore, if you want to be at your best, do your best work, and lead in a way that impacts others, you need to set an agenda in which others can find meaning.
Leaders: What kind of agenda are you setting for your organization?