Are You A Lone Wolf in Your Organizational Culture?

When is it time to stop forging ahead?


Mike McGalliard, founder of the Imagination Foundation, discusses an unusual element of leadership style: knowing when to pull back on your dreams and goals.

From his own personal experience, Mike recalls a time when he was so passionate about his dream that, in hindsight, he may have been forging ahead alone when a shared vision would have been more powerful. Are you a lone wolf in your organization or on your team? How can you influence others to share your vision?

Raise your level of leadership by understanding key elements from Mike's discussion:

1) The necessity of team building.

2) The value of encouraging all voices to be heard.

3) The impact of a shared vision.

I think that some of the triggers that we need to look for, about when we should pull back a little bit and not charge ahead on a dream is whether we're alone because you really can't get anywhere by yourself and having a team come along with you, means that you're negotiating with folks. And you're trying to recognize their needs and their desires and their vision too and link it all up.

That's powerful when you have a bunch of people that share a vision, much more powerful than me having one by myself. And so, a trigger would be, are you alone? And you can kind of tell if you're a lone wolf here. And you have to be careful because there's a lot of pride that comes along with being a lone wolf. I'm the only one standing for this, I'm the lone ranger, whatever the metaphor exactly for that is. But there can be a lot of pride with the idea that I haven't lost sight of the vision and I'm not wasting time, I'm charging ahead for the benefit of children.

You've got to be careful there because that's self-righteous and I think that you won't make it, you won't be effective. And I even wonder now if I've learned really well. I've learned, I mean, I've learned much better in some ways because this, in this world, the millennial generation that I do not want to comment on generational thinking because it's like the popular thing to do today and it will definitely sound cliché but there's something to be said for this attitude that's prevalent among a younger generation that I'm working with. But I'm part of the old. I'm generation X, couple generations removed from these younger folks who are demanding that their voice be heard.

And I'm like, "Okay. All right, fair enough." So, they're demanding that I build a team, demanding that they be a part of it and they can contribute too. And then you see a full circle because they recognize their creative abilities, they recognize their impact, potential impact. And they want me, as maybe their leader to recognize it too, and I should. So it's a pretty powerful realization.

Mike McGalliard

Mike McGalliard is the President and Executive Director for the Imagination Foundation. For the last 22 years Mike has enjoyed starting up a few successful organizations in the education space, including LA’s Promise, which was awarde...

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