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Leadership…An Informed Perspective

A Leadership Paradigm… What A Leader Does…

Create the Vision…
Whether you are leading a project, a sales team, a division of your company, a sports team, a committee, or an entire enterprise—whatever it is you intend to lead—the first thing you must do is clearly articulate your vision for the enterprise and the ultimate outcome you hope to achieve.
Envisioning the results you want is not something you delegate or relegate to a committee. However, you can and should get the perspectives of and advice from your board of advisors as you clarify your vision. (If you do not have a board of advisors, you can create your own by joining or starting a Profit Pilots Trusted Board of Advisors™ or joining a local Chamber of Commerce or some other group that offers long-lasting advisory relationships. You’ll have no more powerful allies than a group of peers committed to each other’s long-term success.)

Set Expectations…
Once you have your vision clearly stated in language that resonates with your team, present it forcefully and with conviction. You want your team to know what is at stake and that each member of the team has a critical role in fulfilling the mission. Failure to gain the commitment of your team dramatically dilutes the possibility of a successful outcome.

Whether you lead a team of individuals that are going to execute your plans or a team of leaders of subordinate groups, once you have clearly stated your vision it is important that you meet one-on-one with each individual to whom you assign a role in transforming your vision into reality. You must let each person know exactly what you expect them to do, why it is critical to the success of the venture, and the precise outcome you expect from them or their group.

If you are a leader of other leaders, you must make certain that those leaders follow the same process you use. Predictable results among leaders are not a function of style; they are a function of applying a leadership system consistently.

Articulate Accountability…
Expectations are empty promises unless you support them with accountability standards and known consequences. As with your vision and your expectations, you have to let each member of your team know the accountability standards and consequences in advance and assure yourself that the team members each understand what to expect if they succeed—or fail—to meet the challenges of their positions. Failure to make the accountability standards and outcomes known and surprising team members that have not lived up to expectations after the fact is a certain path to mutiny.

Let Your Team Execute…
When your team, at your command, launches its effort to convert your vision into a reality, get out of their way and assume the roles of field general, head coach, team trainer, water bearer…you become the team’s Gunga Din. Your roles are to…
• monitor the efforts of your team so you know the details of what’s working or not working
• remove obstacles that keep team members from achieving their goals and your vision
• create opportunities for your team members to succeed in their individual efforts and to see the value of those efforts to the team
• enforce accountability standards—insofar as possible prior to conclusion of the project—and make adjustments if needed

Follow-up and Follow-thru…
The most powerful and successful leaders know that successful outcomes are not the result of their vision or anything the leader did, but the result of the team effort that transformed the leader’s vision into reality.
When your vision becomes reality, you—the leader—need to step back, evaluate what went right, what went wrong, and how each team member—including yourself—performed. Armed with this information, you must judge each team member and the team as a whole. You are responsible for rewarding those that deserve rewards and dealing with those that fell short based on the standards set in advance for each team member.

Then What?
Every success contains the seeds of failure and every failure the seeds of success.
Do not squander the effort of the team that made your vision a reality or failed in that effort. Treat the successes and failures of every effort with equal respect.
If you would be a leader, you must recognize that achieving success is akin to falling in love; it’s great when it starts and it can last a long time. However, you must be fully aware that—like love—you must make more effort to sustain success than you made to achieve it in the first place.

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About the Author

Jeffrey Reeves, Profit Pilots, Inc.
2373 Central Park Blvd
Denver, CO 80238

Contact Author: request info

If you would like to re-print this article, please contact the author.
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