Make A Decision!
Leadership is important! We can all agree! The challenge with leading is born of the questions, “what is leadership and what the best style of leadership?” It is not my intention to attempt an answer to those questions. I have a simple goal. Offer an alternative to picking one leadership style over another.
Many times we face the problem of “poor” leadership. Leadership is never more important than when there are significant problems to solve, problems that threaten your existence. In those moments of existential crisis, leadership has to be decisive, proactive, and agile.
I once heard the late Don Storms say,
“Make a decision, even if it’s wrong; because even God can’t steer a parked car.”
He was speaking about leadership paralysis over the fear of making mistakes and taking the wrong actions. He mentored leaders to take action decisively but evaluate your moves to make the necessary course corrections. When faced with an emergent problem, take action!
Undoubtedly, someone will say, “you must analyze the problem before you act.” My response is, “you are correct, an analysis must be part of your action, yet analysis must never lead to paralysis if the problem inspires fear of failure.
There is no need to analyze a problem if you do not intend to or are afraid to act. In this case, it is better to defer to someone on your team who is not afraid to fail but is willing to 1.) Analyze and Act, 2.) Correct course, and 3.) Take action. You may discover that there is more than one path to success.
How Many Ways Can We Win?
When you are setting your goals, responding to a challenge, or creating an opportunity, do you factor into your plans how many different ways we can win? Allow me to offer an idea. If you are in Kansas City, Missouri, and want to get to Dallas, Texas, you may take different routes. Some paths may seem circumlocuitous (going a long way around), but they still lead to the destination.
Let me say it more plainly,
“There is more than one highway that leads to your destination.”
Because there are alternative ways to succeed in virtually every endeavor, then the “my way or the highway.” leadership model is flawed. To truly harness the gifts, skills, and style of work your team brings to the table, we must acknowledge that there are many ways to win.
We must create opportunities for our teams to work up to their potential rather than down to our quotas.
We must set benchmarks, plan, and provide the tools our teams need to succeed, and if they are skilled professionals, we can release them to achieve the goals without micro-managing their actions. Providing leadership that releases potential, sets expectations, inspects progress, and rewards achievement will find that there are many ways we can win.