Effective leadership requires the Courage to Act. Without it, you are left with only good intentions or a hope for something better but no traction to get it done.
One of the most common mistakes I’ve seen made by leaders in teams and organizations is that of not taking the time to formulate a vision. And even with those who do formulate a vision, do not do what it takes to bring that vision to life. A vision is concerned with doing the right thing. The communication and shared sense of ownership for that vision is part of doing it right.
Highly effective leaders are masters at observing and acting upon the obvious. They note the commonplace trends and the changes going on in their world and galvanize their teams and organizations to think and act upon them.
There is an old saying that there are three kinds of people in the world: those who make things happen, those who watch things happen, and those who wonder what happened! Obviously leaders fall into the first category. What is not so obvious and is often missed in understanding this saying is that the leaders are the ones who make things happen by drawing members from categories two (those who watch) and three(those who wonder what happened) into the first category (those who make things happen).
It seems to me that the world is stuck. We have political parties with seemingly irreconcilable differences, polarizing opinions on guns, abortion, the environment, with no signs of compromise and no apparent hope of resolution. The rancor from all sides has devolved to a single position: “Just say no.” No matter what price there is to pay. I’ve spent my life thinking about leadership and courage and over the next several posts to these pages I will offer my thoughts on the Courage it takes to Lead.
In my clinical work as a psychotherapist and in my consulting work, I find many people are really living more “at effect” – reacting to what others do, feeling imposed upon, focusing on that things and forces that concern them but over which they have no control, feeling victimized or powerless or at the very least resentful or upset and blaming others. It turns out that few seem to realize that they have the tremendous power of being the CHOOSER, of being At Choice in their lives.
This is the last in the series on the four primary tools and methods for creating greater mental and overall flexibility to deal with discontinuities, challenges, opportunities and change. Resiliency is the capacity to spring back from set backs, stresses and discontinuities.
This sense of inner calm, of confidence, makes you more mentally flexible since you are not “on your guard” or having to “prove yourself” – you can be more relaxed and at ease in dealing with people and responding to the challenges before you.
What is your center? What is your Purpose in being on this earth? To what are you in service? Can you easily articulate in one short sentence why you are here, your sense of personal meaning on this earth?
The key here is to develop greater mental and emotional flexibility. Without that ability to flex without breaking, to bend with the currents of change without getting up rooted, an individual, a leader, a team or an organization can collapse, fall apart or lose their way.