Failing My Own Leadership Course?

Lessons From The Team

Leaders somehow are given the impression they have to know all the answers and they need to be fully in charge. But I write today to prove that it is the team who can help you navigate your leadership best.

We were working on a large project recently that involved a number of various commercial and web visuals. As we struggled through the process I simply kept thinking…

“I cannot stand what this looks like.”

Have you ever stared at something for a long time trying to figure out what was wrong, but simply could not place it?

Was it the aesthetics bothering me, the layout itself or the whole concept? I just couldn’t pin it down.

I was close to missing a deadline; I was pushing my team hard; and I have to admit, the whole process was making me grumpy. Can’t imagine what they must have been thinking, but there were a lot of odd conversations and weird changes I kept asking for that did nothing to improve the project.

One morning my webmaster said… is it coming from your heart, from the depths of who you are and what you believe in?


Brilliance lives in your team, listen to them! All I needed to do was to say to my webmaster…

“I can’t figure this out.”

I teach this to leaders… I spout it in talks and via social media platforms and I tell it to my kids.

Nothing successful arrives at your door without you first calling it out from passion, from the depths of who you are and you must believe in it.

Duh…. It was clear that I was trying to work with “What we had” which was not inspiring the best of me. I had settled for what was there, for mediocre – and mediocre is NOT my way.

Practicing what I preach, I spent last weekend, (almost a 48 hour exercise) redoing the entire project visuals from scratch…


I believe that without a brilliant team member and without other team members to encourage and support, I could not find the success I am having in so many ways.

It is the team who leads me through learning to be the leader I aspire to be!

Do what it is you believe in, trust your instincts, never accept less than exceptional and always, always, always follow what you know from the very depths of your heart.

Patti is a strategic advisor in Leadership, Customer Service and Small business. You can book her to speak at her Speakers Page.

Need Strategic Sense for your business? – hire us only if you prefer to rise above the status-quo, care deeply about employee and customer experiences and truly believe in living and performing with excellence.



  1. Great story, Patti. I can relate 🙂 What I find that works for me is to back away from the details of implementation and ask myself – and my team – questions that touch upon matters larger in scope. You hit one of them – passion. Others are purpose, persuasion, compassion, mission, and vision.

    • Thanks Joe,

      That is a fantastic list, purpose, persuasion, compassion, mission and vision. Printing those out and posting them on the bulletin board!

  2. Great lesson for sure. It is great to have people on your side to give you those reminders and nudges along the way when you need it. I love the last message about following your instincts and what you believe in.

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