Have you ever observed how many in leadership behave and act, and are bewildered and confused, not understanding why they do something that way. How many times have either you thought, or heard others say that something that was done just didn't make any sense? In my over three decades of working closely with over a thousand leaders, identifying, qualifying, training and consulting to, I have come to the realization that what many of us refer to as common sense just is not all that common at all, and that seems to be even more true for many in leadership positions.
1. So, what exactly is a common sense approach to leadership? The first step, as in most things related to true leadership, starts with being sure that those in leadership are actually leaders, and are both willing and able to behave and act as such. It all begins with professional leadership training, instilling the necessary knowledge so that someone is prepared and ready to analyze issues as they arise. It means that a leader must not just look simplistically at what might be wrong with an organization. There is no point in correcting what is wrong with an organization by also sacrificing what is right, and remarkably, that is exactly what is almost always done by inexperienced or unprepared leaders. It is certainly important to analyze and organization and to identify and attempt to correct weaknesses, and enhance them with other better ways of doing something. However, in most organizations, nearly every step made has some sort of ramification, and wise leaders must be willing to weigh carefully the alternatives, understanding the ramifications, and working to address them.
2. One of the greatest weaknesses of most organizations is difficulty retaining members. It is always easier to retain an existing member, or to go back to a previous member who has lapsed his membership, and reinvigorate your appeal, and entice him to still continue his membership. In most cases, the answer is thorough communication, which includes and begins with effective listening and genuine empathy. Great leaders listen to concerns and address them, not always changing as a result, but fully explaining the reasons for his actions. Most people find integrity and openness far more essential to following a particular leader than necessarily agreeing. True leaders realize that there are no real gurus or simplistic approaches, and one cannot generally wave a magic wand to make things better. Rather, it is a step by step, sometimes tedious and detailed but always thorough analysis followed by an action plan and some strategic planning. True leaders realize that this requires more than just relying on rhetoric, but rather examining needs.
Why, if common sense makes so much sense, do so few leaders exhibit more of it? Firstly, many of those in leadership are not necessarily that wise or introspective. Secondly, the guru approach often seems more glorious, glamorous and exciting, and often requires far less real effort, and thirdly, because most organizations do not really have an effective leadership training program in place. All great leaders have always been those with common sense, who let that common sense guide them!
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