Don’t be the leader who unknowingly renders large parts of their team ineffective with your own words and actions. Here’s something to keep in mind – if you tell people long enough or loud enough (in word or deed) that they’re not leaders, you shouldn’t be surprised when they begin to believe you. Your job is not to keep people from leadership, but to bring out the leader in everyone. The goal is to create leadership ubiquity. Don’t lionize the few – mobilize the masses.
The most successful organizations are ones in which everyone views themselves as a leader. Leadership that isn’t transferrable, repeatable, scalable, and sustainable isn’t really leadership at all. Build your organization on a framework that builds into all team members regardless of where they reside on the org chart.
“The best path forward for any organization looking to improve performance is to immediately stop doing anything that creates, emboldens, or builds on bad leadership habits.”
We live in a world that far too easily suffers fools in leadership. We embrace pseudo-intellectuals and idiot savants as thought leaders, we accept poor performance as normative, and we value being politically correct more than we fear being incorrect. Leadership should not be about who is right, but it should be about what is right.
I have long held to the belief that leadership exists to disrupt mediocrity. However my observation is that many in positions of leadership tend to protect the status quo (mediocrity’s best friend) at all costs. The best path forward for any organization looking to improve performance is to immediately stop doing anything that creates, emboldens, or builds on bad leadership habits. Don’t embrace outdated, static, or politically correct thinking – neutralize it at all costs.
Stop trying to leverage your people and focus on how you can create leverage for them. Stop asking your people to do more with less (Not Smart) and find ways to provide them with a resource advantage (Smart). Stop imposing hiring freezes (Not Smart) and begin a relentless pursuit of creating a talent advantage (Smart). CEOs who complain about a lack of resources are doing nothing more than demonstrating their own lack of resourcefulness.
Your job as CEO is to consistently unlock hidden value within your organization. The fastest path to that destination is always found in your people – that is, if they’re engaged and valued and not ignored or alienated. Listen to your people, value your people, engage your people, learn from your people, lead your people to become the best leaders they can be – it’s your job.
The best CEOs know when to stop harming themselves, they know when to get out of their own way and they know what to STOP doing. As we near year-end, I want to encourage you to be bold and think differently. While there are many things I could offer up as forward looking leadership counsel, I thought it best to leave you with this; Stop being a manager of tasks and initiatives, and focus on unlocking the value of your greatest asset -your team.