The Heads Up on Leadership

I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving.

Mine was terrific: a happy table and an amazing meal.

We played a few party games over the weekend too, like #HeadsUp.

If you’re not familiar, take a look at the picture. The phone, placed on your forehead, displays the answer, and the other players have to give you clues so you can get that right answer.

There are other party games, like #CardsAgainstHumanity and Apples to Apples, and they work differently: For these games, the players have to come up with a word or phrase, and the player acting as “judge” chooses the one that they like best.

What they have in common is that all of the players have to convey their idea to the boss, catering to the boss’s judgement.

Back to the Heads Up game.

Here’s the leadership part: When you, the boss, put others ahead of yourself, everybody wins.

If I choose categories that are most familiar to me (e.g. baseball, 70s trivia, classic rock), the other players, the ones who have to effectively communicate the answer to me, will likely struggle to explain that answer.

On the other hand, if I choose something that may be new or less familiar to me but well within their areas of expertise (Pokemon, The 2010s!, Taylor Swift), their clues, their contribution, will flow freely and now they can do their best to put it in terms I understand.

Whether it’s leadership or teaching or marketing, you have to meet your team or your students or your customers where they live, where they’re the most comfortable.

What do you think?

See you tomorrow!