The first two blogs in this series focused on the first element of the Ice Cold Leader process for young adults: Find Your Breath. This concept represents the ability to acknowledge emotions and act on them consciously. Find Your Breath is the building block for all great leaders and individual performers. If you ignore this part of leadership and individual performance your actions will be random and so will your results.
Once you Find Your Breath, what’s next? Next, we need to focus on action. And now that you know how to Find Your Breath, the action you focus on will be conscious based on the situation at hand.
We Simply Call This Find Work
Find Work was a term we used during my time as a member of the FBI’s New York SWAT Team. As a unit we mastered the basics of Close Quarters Battle (the process of moving tactically through a house to secure an objective) because we practiced them repeatedly. However, there are always situations that present themselves that require something you must account for outside of the basics.
When these situations arose and there was no basic maneuver, or standard operating procedure, to address the challenge at hand, we as a combat unit fell back on Find Work.
For example: Our SWAT Team is in the hallway of a bad guy’s house and I’m in the back of the line of operators waiting to enter a room tactically. However, I notice my teammate at the head of the line has his back to an open door. This is a potentially deadly situation because a bad guy has the opportunity shoot him without anyone seeing it coming because no one is covering his back. What to do?!
Instead of just standing there in line looking at this potentially deadly situation and hoping that someone does or says something, I Find My Breath and then I Find Work. I leave the line and cover his back exposed to the open door. Now he and the rest of the team are safe because I found work.
Really, I found work before I moved to cover my teammates back by recognizing the deadly situation at all. Believe it or not, even in a combat situation, there can be a tendency to zone out, especially if you in line waiting to enter a room tactically. And if you are not zoning out, you run the risk of having tunnel vision waiting for your turn to enter a room.
But instead of zoning out or having tunnel vision, I Find Work by being aware of everything around me. Because I did this, I was able to identify a potentially deadly situation, act accordingly, and protect the life of my teammate.
Find Work is a great behavior to adopt as a team because it is fluid to the situation at hand but sends the message to stop zoning out or getting tunnel vision and see if there is a way you can add value.
- What are the ways you as a team can Find Work?
- What are the ways you as an individual contributor can Find Work?
To start, focus on Finding Work in every situation you are in. The action you take may be different every time, but it always means you are taking action, even simply by being aware of your surroundings.
Next up in our blog series, how do we as leaders enforce this vital behavior in our team?
Errol Doebler is the founder of Ice Cold Leader, a leadership consulting firm. After successful careers as a Navy SEAL Platoon Commander and FBI Special Agent, Errol founded Ice Cold Leader to realize his passion of empowering great leaders and better human beings. Errol provides executive coaching, keynote speaking, and corporate retreats to individuals and teams across the world.
Errol is hosting a FREE Leadership Workshop on Thursday January 13th, 2022 at 3pm EST. The topic of the workshop is “How To Establish Your Culture and Improve Your Hiring Practices“. The workshop is designed for all levels of leader in every field of endeavor who want to level up and become the best version of themselves. Secure your spot here.