I had the greatest conversation with Mike last week. Mike, a leader who can dance circles around most of us with his ability to strategically assess and manage situations.
So as I discuss leading my teams in new directions, not without some frustration on my part, Mike says "I have a note above my desk that says," Do You Need To Pee?." Huh.......??
He tells me that as he grew up his family would take car trips across a couple provinces to visit family. With the parental determination to get there, the trip was planned with specific rest stops at intervals, hours apart. Mike tells me of squirming in agony, sitting in the back seat with the other kids, whizzing by gas stations along the road, needing to pee so bad when it wasn't time. How it becomes all you can think of - this need to pee, and nothing about the trip is fun anymore.
He says the sign above his desk is to remind him that in leading his teams through the challenges, the long journey to the destination of success, he remembers to ask "Do You Need To Pee?", much like he asked me, and in doing so, gave me the break I needed to get out of the car, walk around, get my bearings and continue on refreshed to finish the journey.
An effective leader like Mike will not only plan stops but will watch his team for squirminess, and ask "Do You Need To Pee?" pausing in between the planned rest stops sometimes, recognizing his team as individuals, giving them the break they need to get back in the car and continue on.