Get the Powers to Act from Fresh Ideas

January 19, 2013

Essential Leadership Skills - Part 1

Essential because ...

First, you can't say, "It doesn't apply to me. I don't want to lead."
You have to lead yourself when
  1. you are not led at all, or
  2. you are poorly led.

Second, saying "I won't lead" is exactly like, "I won't decide." Choosing not to decide is a decision after all.

Third, as in "Planning is essential, plans are nothing," you need to know whether you are being led at all or not. Remember Kerry Mullis's "Who is minding the store?" You think someone is leading you whereas the truth is nobody is leading you. Such situations are not so uncommon and then what are you going to do about that lack of leadership?

What is a leader supposed to do?

A leader is supposed to lead. Huh?
Lead who? The followers or him/herself.
Lead them where? To what?

Lead them where? To what?

  1. I used to ask my honors classes, "Go to libraries, read, ask whatever you like. Then come back and read Paragraph 3 of Page 2 of my handouts. You'll see no one has thought about this before I did."
  2. If this is an easy question, the answer should show in the first 10 pages of Google search results of a number of synonymous search terms and phrases. Why not try it now yourself?
  3. If this is an easy question, the answer should show in the first 10 books of a number of categories in your libraries. Why not try it now yourself?
What is a leader supposed to do? Where does s/he lead the team?
  1. Drucker : economic results
  2. Ram Charan : R = MV, something. Maybe he means revenue or return.
  3. Jim Kilts: (He qualifies his remarks as only suitable for consumer products) Do the top of P&L, then go to the middle, to improve the bottom. He means increased earnings.
  4. Mao: Get and keep power.
  5. Gandhi: Liberate your country.
  6. Entrepreneurship book writers: Sales
What about political, educational, military, non-profit leadership?

What Buddha says

Please read, at least, the Jataka stories.

The answer there is trivially short,

embarrassingly simple and

eye-poppingly clear.

May you be able to lead comfortably and confidently yourself and those whose livelihoods depend on you.


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