What does leadership mean to you?
That was the start of a two-hour conversation I had with a client over Zoom recently.
We discussed a series of factors, but we kept coming back to the lack of boldness of leaders today.
Many people who hold titles, and make the presumption of leadership, are merely there to maintain the status quo.
That is not leadership!
Leadership is not built on complacency, nor is it about steadily steering the ship quietly into oblivion.
Instead, leadership is about bold proclamations and actions designed to take people into, through, and beyond change to make the organization more robust and valuable – both internally and to its clients.
It is not about checking boxes and making sure people are doing their jobs complacently.
It is not about being safe and playing not to lose.
“A ship in harbor is safe, but that is not what ships are built for.”
– John Augustus Shedd
The same thing can be said for companies and those who lead them. Those who continually stay in harbor, in the safe and compliant zone, will never falter. However, by not creating opportunities through calculated risk, they will never excel either.
These are the banal companies, the average, and those perceived by all as mere commodities. They are easily forgotten and soon replaced.
These are companies that are led by those who are not truly leaders. Leaders who do not have the skills, aptitude, or fortitude to be resilient, do not embrace change, and only adapt when it is forced upon them.
These are the companies led by those who never inspire, and never expect greatness from anyone or anything.
Is this what the world needs today? Leaders who risk nothing and lead through adhering to the status quo. I say NO!
Today, more than ever, we need leaders who embrace change and believe they must lead that change through inspiring those within the organization to greatness. Their role is to communicate purpose and vision, explain the direction they are heading, why it is the best course for clients and employees alike, and inspire all to join them on this new quest.
It is up to that leader to understand their own strengths and weaknesses, and to surround themselves with those who can shore them up when needed, and be sounding boards and advice providers when called upon.
A leader cannot lead without strong and capable people who can turn ideas into reality. Therefore, the leader must surround themselves with those people and not be intimidated by others’ prowess in certain areas, but rather, ask those people to take the helm and lead where it makes sense to have them take charge.
Leading the status quo puts you in the best-case scenario of getting the same results, but in reality, it also can lead to the company’s demise.
As a leader, have you surrounded yourself with leaders? Or merely those who carry on without questioning what could be done better, or what could create havoc? Do this at your own peril.
Here is wishing everyone health, safety, and long-term success.
Connect with Ben HERE to discuss how to provide your people with the skills and mindset they need to lead teams effectively into the new normal.