Sunday Musings on Leadership
I’ve been thinking lately about leaders and leadership in general. I’m sure there are many things I could add to this list. The spectacular disaster in the gulf has pushed this issue to the top of my mind. I think there are a few characteristics that define leaders. Characteristics without which, leaders just aren’t leaders. If you don’t have these things, you don’t get to have (or keep) the job. I think this is true in politics, in business, in life generally.
1) Leaders pursue outcomes. They set clear and consistent expectations (for employees, for clients, for investors, for the community). They disclose the rules of the game.
2) Leaders manage risks. It’s the responsibility of leaders to know about decisions that pose significant risks (to employees, to clients, to investors, to the community). They don’t get to say, I didn’t know. Leaders must make it clear to their teams that they want and need to know about these things. And saying I didn’t know = saying I suck at my job, you should fire me.
3) Leaders take responsibility. Leaders make decisions and take action. If something goes wrong, they own it and they fix it. They prioritize leading ahead of their personal needs.