Two principle responsibilities of leadership are selecting people to join our team, and routinely evaluating each team member’s performance going forward from the date of hire. We are often asked for input regarding both aspects of this leadership responsibility.
In working with clients who desire to achieve market leadership, we are often asked to help a potential client "improve their brand." By this, what is often meant is, "improve our image." However, what matters even more is the substance behind the external "visible" brand (visible "image").
We all have heard the populist axiom, usually in the negative, “It runs downhill.” Sure enough. Here are two examples:
Sometimes our mind plays tricks on us. When presented with a leadership opportunity we can easily default to the attitude of projected defeat as we hear the words come out of our mouth, “I can’t do that…”
While we do indeed face real limitations at points in our life, sometimes our reluctance is the result of a rehearsed attitude rather than due to any legitimate obstacle to achievement.
The Road Not Taken
Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;
Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim
This week as I have been talking with several successful leaders I have noticed a quality in each of them that was held in common, even though they did not know each other.
I puzzled to find the word that would capture what I observed.
What I felt when I was with them.
One of the characteristics of great leaders is passion. Not the kind that is directed to fulfillment of delf-centered pleasure. Rather, the kind of passion, often selfless, that enthusiastically pursues a worthy objective. The Merriam-Webster online dictionary includes the following definition:
…a strong liking or desire for, or devotion to, some activity, object, or concept
We have written a number of articles on the value of teamwork and of including team members in the process of decision-making. We have also affirmed the wisdom of delegating key aspects of a project to the team for input.
That said, there are two things that a leader cannot delegate: Goals and Values.