Monday, May 24, 2010

Where Leadership Happens

I was driving back from a member visit with one of the members of my staff. We were talking about how impressed we were with how he ran his business, about how thoughtful, how strategic, how deliberate he was in starting a business from scratch and growing it to a multi-million dollar operation. At the start he set out a list of core business principles and decided that that was how he was going to run his business.

That's important, but setting out your principles is not where leadership happens.

Leadership happens when you take those principles and try to apply them to a real situation in the real world, and unanticipated conditions begin to clash with those principles. When do you say, OK, we need to bend here and adapt to the reality of this situation, and when do you say, no, dammit, I said we were going to run things this way and that’s the way we’re going to run things.

Making, selling and accepting the consequences of those decisions is where leadership happens.


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