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Three Pillars Of Leadership
The three pillars on which leadership thrives are actually three areas of personal mastery – focus, feedback, and leadership. They will pay the greatest dividends for the time invested. With them, you'll lead effectively at the highest levels. Without them, your execution excellence potential and consistency is severely limited regardless of your role or station in life.
There are two categories of people in personal and professional development – the ‘green and growing’ and the ‘ripe and rotting’. In other words, the people who need training and performance improvement the most want it the least; and the people who need training the least, want it the most.
Let’s study the three pillars intensively:
Everyone knows that focus is absolutely essential for success, but what everyone does not know is that focus is under attack from entropy, which is your constant enemy. It stands for ambiguity, chaos and confusion. The devil everyone is fighting constantly. Entropy is the second law of thermodynamics and essentially states that in nature, everything goes from a state of order to a state of disorder - naturally, by itself. In other words, at this very moment dust is settling everywhere around you. Just as your car is decreasing in value; and mechanically getting worse, naturally, your teams and organizations also slacken naturally. They need constant light to grow and achieve their potential otherwise they quickly become more and more unproductive. So, you have to provide focus in the right manner with the right tools. Without the right skills and tools, leadership is doomed to never realize the full potential of the team. This may be your single greatest calling as a leader.
Leadership thrives on feedback, even if some of it might cause heartburn for some time. Execution is aided by the key competency of displaying meaningful metrics all the way to frontline people. After all, it is the frontline that produces the bottom-line, so allow them the visual depiction of goal progress via a scoreboard. Just as you wouldn’t drive across the continent with black tape across your automobile's dashboard, you cannot lead without getting feedback. You need to know how fast you're traveling and how much gas you have and so on and so forth.
Studies have revealed some astounding facts. A survey conducted by Harris Polling in 2004 revealed that out of 12,000 people in eight industries only 15% knew their organization's top goals and priorities, and only 16% said their organization provided a compelling scoreboard that depicted progress against their goals or organizational objectives.
It's a well-known fact that delegation is not the strength of most managers. As Michael Gerber has written in his book The Entrepreneurial Myth that most managers, owners and executives are so busy working ‘in’ the business that they fail to work ‘on’ the business. You cannot work on the business when you are constantly in the business reacting to both urgent and important demands and fires to put out, to-do lists that are too long. Inability to delegate work springs from lack of clarity of goals. They can’t let go intelligently because they are not focused on developing people. To be able to delegate work to your employees, you need additional time to work on the business. Delegation is wrought with real risks. It takes real courage to let go. But, the dual benefits of increased personal time on your part and building and developing your key talent outweigh the associated risks.
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