Solid leadership is an essential component of effective management, and although not everyone is a born leader, it is possible to be molded into a leader. The subject of leadership has been greatly covered by academic scholars & management consultants, yet building high-performance teams remains elusive to most companies. Leadership is the most important competitive advantage of a company, not technology, finance, operations nor anything else. I would love for someone to justify otherwise (I also asked this on LinkedIn).
A high-performance company with solid leadership is like a high-performance car and driver. Proper performance and integration of all components are critical. Unanswered customer calls are like faulty wiring. Missed production schedules are like misfiring spark-plugs. A poor strategy is like an engine out of tune. Poor internal communications are like a weak battery. Poor morale is like a flat tire. And, poor leadership is like a moving car whose driver has bailed out. Companies, like cars, need all components properly working, and working in an integrated manner. Such integration is even more important in today’s dynamically competitive environment.
One of the biggest problems facing poor leadership, and possibly the most significant reason we are stuck with it, is that so many of us are prepared to tolerate – or even support – those who are not fit to lead. “The reason we do so”, says Peter Drucker, “is that it is easier to toe the line than to make trouble”.
Another reason that many of us are happy to follow people for whom we may hold little respect is that we tend to crave the kind of simplicity and stability that does not go with the responsibilities of leadership.
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