Leaders Must Pick Their Battles

Effective leaders soon realize that there will be many issues, matters, policies, and even individuals that they do not agree with, and that it is both impossible and unwise to take on too many issues simultaneously. Wise leadership dictates prioritization as an early step in the leadership agenda, and by doing so, thus can wisely pick and choose which items are most essential/ important, and therefore which ones to exert the most effort for. Therefore, it is generally a wise course of action for a leader to pick and choose his battles, and therefore garner the most support for those items he considers most pressing and important. William James wrote, "The art of being wise is the art of knowing what to overlook."

1. In order to achieve what a leader considers most pressing, he often must overlook certain acts, errors/ omissions, less pressing issues/ policies, etc. By doing that, he places his highest concentration on the matters that he considers most urgent, or most important. In my over three decades of training leaders in all aspects of leadership and management, I always have stressed that a new leader must hit the ground running from day one. This requires someone who ascends to a leadership position to be as prepared as possible before becoming the leader, and creating an agenda, with viable goals. This permits him to enunciate and communicate his agenda from day one, and to coerce and convince as many followers as possible, so that they will buy into his philosophy, and adopt it as their own point of view.

2. True leaders cannot afford to appear as if they are running all over the place, because most observers are either motivated or demotivated by what they see being done and achieved. Far too many in leadership simply talk the talk, expressing platitudes, and often using rhetoric instead of reasoning. Great leaders can and should be working on multiple needs, policies, programs and ideas simultaneously, but must set priorities so as to place the others focus on the most pressing or important item or items.

3. Leaders must beware of what they fit for, or against. If someone in leadership puts too much focus on a secondary issue (which may have opposition), it often weakens his ability to motivate people around what his top priority. Beware that this does not mean that a leader should sell out his beliefs, but rather prioritize his public approach and appearance. Many battles end up, often unfortunately, in the political arena, and thus, great leaders learn to balance their public rhetoric and opposition, in order to conserve as much political ammunition as possible for what he considers most important.

Without this common sense approach, some of the most motivated leaders fail in their quest for greatness, because they often alienate people they might need for essential items, by their rhetoric and fighting on lesser issues. Leadership is not only about knowledge, expertise and action, but also about people skills and attitude, while setting and using the priority approach.

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

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