The Leadership Lid

You will not succeed beyond the leadership you have in place.

It’s easy to blame bad tools. Or the working environment… Whatever the excuse, it typically is secondary to the real issue. From my vantage point working with organizations and process, more projects fail from a lack of leadership than anything else.

Truth be told, an organization will find it hard pressed to excel beyond the excellence or deficiency of its leadership. It is known as the “leadership lid.” Sometimes when things go wrong there is a mismatch of talent. The wrong person is in charge of a specific project or venture.

Other times there is a character flaw, a blind spot with the leader. The entrepreneur or manager is in charge, but their ego which powered them to a place of influence can blind them to their weaknesses.

Leaders Stand Out

Not everyone can get things done. Not all talent is equal. A leader, though can drive to a goal and pull the resources and people to make it happen. Others, then get out of the way and support them fully. They are rarities. Here is what differentiates them:

  • They make decisions. Decisive people stand out. They have conviction about what they believe and are not afraid to fail. It is in stark contrast to most people who either seek consensus or avoid responsibility.
  • They are action-oriented. You will see a pattern and systems of execution. Ideas and dialogue turn quickly into action that is captured quickly and enacted upon.
  • They have clarity. Most people are walking around in a fog. The person that can see clearly has a gift in the new economy. They can cut through the complexity and distill towards what is important.
  • They inspire. With clarity and action-orientation, they know what they want and motivate the team around them to follow. Communication and a vision for what is required becomes paramount to align the team.
  • They are about the goal. Leaders that operate at a high level keep themselves and everyone on the team focused on the goal. There is accountability that is both consistent and focused.

While most people are managing to avoid failure and politicking for their self-preservation, leaders that get things done take risk and get results.

Perhaps you have projects that require someone that can cut through the complexity. Your most pivotal decision will be to establish who leads. If you are ill-suited, get out of the way. Let it be about the goal, not a personality.

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