Now consider someone you’ve known who held a position of leadership but fell short of being an effective leader. Did that person cast vision? Did that person foster relationships? Did that person execute the strategy? Again, I’m willing to bet I know your answers. You answered “no” to at least one of those questions, didn’t you? Why? Because leadership is simple, but irreducibly complex.
Leadership can not get any simpler than casting vision, fostering relationships, and executing strategy. When it gets simpler (less complex) than this, it ceases to be leadership.
1. Take away vision casting
and you have a team of happy people with clear tasks to perform but no passion; people feel drained. True leaders evoke passion in others.
2. Take away fostering relationships
and you have a team of people who know what to do, why to do it, but they are burning out fast because they don’t feel like anyone cares about them; people feel used. True leaders make others feel valued.
3. Take away executing strategy
and you have a team of people who have a lot of excitement, they enjoy one another, but they don’t really know what to do next; people feel bogged down. True leaders point the way and help people get things done.
Without casting vision, the environment is stale. Without fostering relationships, the boss drives people rather than leads them. Without executing strategy, people are frustrated by inaction. Leadership can not and MUST NOT be less complex than these three skills. Leadership is simple, but irreducibly complex.
That takes us to the hard part of today’s blog post. If you’re in a leadership position, you must ask yourself honestly, “Am I exercising all three skills? Am I really a leader?” Because if you aren’t using all three skills, it doesn’t matter what position of leadership you may hold; in reality, you aren’t actually leading. Yeah, you guessed it: leadership is simple, but irreducibly complex.