Great leaders sense the moment. Most people want to realize opportunity and “seize the moment,” and I think the key to seizing the moment begins with “sensing the moment.” What does it mean to sense the moment? I think there are at least three things that great leaders do to illustrate what it means to sense the moment:
- Comprehend the Context – Great leaders truly comprehend the context of any situation. They are able to gather the facts and what has happened leading up to this moment in order to make sense of the current reality. Context is a valuable tool and often provides clarity about perspective and the path forward. You must understand the context of any situation to determine what you need to do next.
- Discern the Role You Need to Play – Magic Johnson, the Hall of Fame point guard for the Los Angeles Lakers and one of the best to ever play the game, was a master at discerning the role he needed to play in order for his team to win the game. He learned this trait from his high school coach who told him that he needed to score less and lead more. Up until that point, Magic was scoring most of the team’s points, but they were not winning. His coach knew how much Magic cared about team wins, and his coach challenged Magic to trust his teammates. He did, and it resulted in a high school state championship in addition to a college championship and 5 NBA championships. Magic learned that he needed to lead on the court and discern the role he needed to play depending on the situation. This insight and skill was further refined by working with his NBA Coach Pat Riley. There were some nights where he needed to score more. Other nights, he got his teammates involved early in the game to build their confidence. Great leaders know when to be active and when to facilitate action and impact through others. It is a sense that is developed through practice and experience.
- Care about the Consequences – Great leaders care about the consequences. In other words, they are very aware of both the impact of their actions and the consequences of their inaction. They take ownership of the situation, which creates a purpose for the next steps. People who don’t care about the outcome through ambivalence or apathy never really sense the moment and, therefore, miss an incredible opportunity to make a positive difference.
Choose today to be aware of the moments in your life, and use these tactics to make a positive difference in your home, at work, in the community, and on your team.
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