In my over three decades of involvement in leadership, as a leader, non profit executive, corporate executive, leadership and management trainer and consultant, I have discovered that one of the most harmful and dangerous things someone in a leadership position can do, is to procrastinate, when timely action is called for. Marcus Arelius said, "A wrong- doer is often one who has left something undone, not always someone who has done something." Because so many unqualified and insufficiently trained individuals ascend to leadership, there are always numerous errors, both of commission and omission. While errors of commission are often easy to identify, it is often the errors of omission that create a far more glaring and dangerous set of ramifications.
1. Many of these under- qualified individuals seem to prefer to avoid decisions, so as to avoid any type of responsibility. They seem to feel that if they procrastinate long enough, the challenge becomes that of someone else, instead of theirs. Unfortunately, many things begin as obstacles, and then become challenges. When delayed long enough, they often become treated as problems. When the delay is that long, it is often accompanied by numerous ramifications, mostly negative. In organizations, nearly every obstacle is relatively simple to overcome if a leader addresses it on a timely basis, and develops a strategy and an action plan in a sensible, well thought out manner. In order to do this, a leader must be able to fact find, ask questions, consider alternatives (and the various ramifications), develop contingency/ back up plans, etc., that are in line with the vital vision and mission of the organization. When action is avoided, or even delayed, additional obstacles often create an even greater urgency, and the process, at the very least, becomes abbreviated and less thorough. When valuable planning time is wasted, the time can never be recovered, and in almost all cases, additional circumstances tend to further complicate the situation.
2. I have often wondered why the word, procrastination, begins with a pro. There is nothing professional about procrastination, and effective leadership has always been dependent on timely, well considered and thought out action being instituted. Great leaders have always turned these obstacles/ adversities into challenges to overcome, and then made the most of these opportunities to make needed changes (or tweaks) that energizes and revitalizes, as well as refocuses the organization.
I hope that someday organizations will all come to learn what the most effective and viable ones have already learned and demonstrated. They must understand that nothing good in the long run ever comes from procrastination, and while a process must be well considered and examined, great leaders always make sure that issues are addressed in a timely manner. Organizations need to continuously evolve to remain viable, and only when leaders are completely trained and qualified can this process be performed.
Richard Brody,with over 30 years consultative sales,marketing,training,managerial, and operations experience,has trained sales and marketing people in numerous industries, given hundreds of seminars, appeared as a company spokesperson on over 200 radio and television programs, and regularly blogs on real estate, politics, economics, management, leadership, negotiations, conferences and conventions, etc. He has negotiated, arranged and/ or organized hundreds of conferences and conventions. He's a Senior Consultant with RGB Consultation Services, an Ecobroker, a Licensed Buyers Agent (LBA) and Licensed Salesperson in NYS, in real estate.
Richard has owned businesses, been a Chief Operating Officer, a Chief Executive Officer, and a Director of Development, as well as a consultant. He has a Consulting Website ( http://tinyurl.com/rgbcons ), and his company PLAN2LEAD, LLC's site ( http://www.plan2lead.net/ ), and can be followed on Twitter