Many individuals ascend to positions of leadership, yet very few actually become true leaders. In my over three decades of identifying, qualifying, training, and consulting to leaders, in both large and small organizations, in both the non profit and for profit worlds, I have come to realize that often one trait that a true leader needs that the rest either lack or avoid, is being both able and willing to dare to take measured risks in order to make their organizations better. Dag Hammarksjold wrote, "It is when we all play it safe that we create a world of utmost insecurity." Think of a sports analogy to understand, in simplest terms, how true that is. How many times have you seen a team that is ahead decide to play it safe and sit on their lead, and thus change what they had been doing that got them ahead in the first place, only to see their lead disappear, and end up grasping defeat from the jaws of victory?
1. Organizational reality is that a group must continuously evolve and adapt, or face difficulties. Those organizations that strategically plan on an ongoing basis, and take baby steps to maintain their relevancy without scaring away their loyalist supporters, are the ones that invariably fare best. However, this takes leadership that is willing to step beyond the status quo, and to learn from the past without being submerged and suffocated by it. Unfortunately, many organizations never do strategic planning, or at least true strategic planning. Strategic planning must be an ongoing process that is tweaked as needed, that looks at what was, what is presently, what the short- term, intermediate- term, and the long- term needs are, and comes up with a proactive method of doing something about it.
2. Far too many people who ascend to leadership appear to be unfit or unprepared or uncommitted enough to be true leaders. Leadership must never be about popularity, even though it is necessary to address the needs and desires of the organization and its members. Rather, being a real leader means having an essential vision for what the group needs, identifying it, communicating it clearly and effectively, motivating others to believe in it and to follow, explaining the reasons that certain changes are needed, and creating a true action plan with a timeline for its implementation. This requires courageous individuals who dare to risk making a mistake if they feel what they suggest is important, and are willing to risk not be as popular if they feel that they must suggest something that may be unpopular, but are then willing and able to clearly explain why the change is essential.
Undue risk is unwise. That is why leaders need to be professionally trained to recognize situations, have the judgment to weigh the risk/ reward ratio, and the wisdom to put it into perspective and implementation. Someone unwilling to ever take a risk, even a necessary and needed one that is measured, are truly unfit to lead!
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.