Leadership is all about being strategic in all of your outcomes.
Yet in order to achieve that You need to think through all of your decisions and follow the least trodden path.
As a Leader I spend an inordinate amount of time in introspection and reflection playing the three dimensional game of Chess we call Life.
It serves me well by doing Good and offering Service and Solutions to all those dependent on me and the world at large.
That for me is the definition of a Life well spent.
Yet my colleagues and other Leaders I speak to at my Conferences and gatherings, tend to spend all their time communicating, and playing the fire fighter, or the police man all day long in their executive suite…
They gravitate towards fixing internal problems problems, and putting out political or real organizational fires, thus running around like the proverbial headless chicken from crisis to crisis. And they spend their Executive lives in that vein long term without seeking the time out to develop and deliver valuable long term strategy.
This type of Leaders are visible to all as they walk down the road with a large entourage and as they exist with a bunch of minions and PAs running around them, to record each and every command and to satisfy each and every whim — but they rarely have the nous or the time to Strategize.
The clever ones have a single person worthy of the title Strategist, and they keep to themselves that counsel while they tend to micromanage all their “subjects” and thus get involved in all areas of Commerce, and consequently have got no time to simply sit and think in order to understand the Strategic implications of decisions that will solve the big problems organizations face. Problems that lead to long term life & death situations for our Companies and other large Organizational structures.
And then we have a third kind of leaders who think for themselves and take time to reflect and resolve by looking inwards and then solving the outside easily — as if by Osmosis. Those are the mindful and insightful Leaders we all aspire to be — when we grow up… And those are the great ones.
We want that type of Leader to lead all of our organizations, be it Government or Corporates because the other kind — that constant problem solving & problem fixing preoccupation with instant decision making; makes it that much harder for these Firefighting leaders, to make sound long term strategic decisions.
Am saying this because Strategy, by definition, is about making complex decisions under uncertainty, with substantive, long-term consequences.
Therefore, it requires substantial periods of careful, undisturbed reflection and consideration.
Something that our 24/7 wireless lifestyle rarely afford unless we are keen to disconnect and find the quiet space within for self examination and reflection.
Strategically long term complex decisions about the Future, require substantial periods of careful, undisturbed reflection and consideration.
Therefore, we cannot just accept at face value things like the terrain, the situation, the weather, the business climate, and the executive time bound elements, that are casually & constantly thrown at us — as decision inputs. There are far more important ingredients and extraordinary things to add to the “stew” that is called for in Executive Leadership decision making.
So make sure to take your time, stand alone, and reflect deeply upon what it takes to have a long term Strategic Impact as the preferred outcome of your actions, because true leadership is not just about deciding & doing things, but more often it is about thinking, imagining, and finding creative out of the box solutions, to pressing problems and constructive disasters in the making of time.
Big problems are big business opportunities is what I always say, but who is listening…
Reflect upon this…