Far too many individuals in leadership positions operate as crisis managers, when they should instead be proactive planners. Effective leadership invariably comes about when those in charge dedicate themselves to truly learning from their training, in order to gain the knowledge necessary to enjoy the wisdom required to have the skills and confidence needed to be able and willing to make timely decisions. True leaders cannot afford to try to escape from their responsibilities, and must recognize that with every action, as well as with every procrastination, comes inevitable ramifications. Norman Cousins wrote, "Wisdom consists of the anticipation of consequences."
1. Leadership means being prepared for eventualities. In my over thirty years of consulting to, and working closely with, well over a thousand leaders, I have observed that there is far more danger from leaders failing to act, than taking actions, even if the actions were somewhat misguided or ill- directed. Leaders that do not prepare for contingencies often end up leading via crisis management, and invariably that results in the crisis managing the leader, rather than the leader managing the crisis. Proper planning results in fewer emergencies, and thus permits a leader to spend his time leading, instead of merely managing. Effective leadership is predominantly about anticipating and being prepared for the what if's, and maintaining control and direction. All great leaders spend most of their time and efforts leading others towards an essential vision, which culminates in the attainment of the goals needed to achieve the organization's vital mission.
2. What exactly should leaders anticipate? Anticipation is not merely a slogan, but a course of action that great leaders utilize. It requires extensive and thorough planning, creating and using action plans, and preparing for contingencies via the use of back- up plans. Efficiency is about being ready and prepared, and when an unwanted or undesired circumstance or set of circumstances occurs (which invariably happens at some time in a leader's life), being prepared to take needed actions immediately, rather than permitting the circumstances dictate the leader's course of actions. This action should occur in a seamless manner, and should not be all consuming. When leaders are properly prepared, they can continue to focus on the big picture and their overall plans and objectives, while still addressing the situation or circumstance.
You are not a leader if you plan to plan properly, be prepared, have the can- do attitude when facing adversities, and turn those adversities into opportunities. Great leadership is always about being prepared, ready, and able to lead in a positive, forward looking manner.
With over 30 years consultative sales, marketing, training, managerial, and operations experience, Richard Brody has trained sales and marketing people in numerous industries, given hundreds of seminars, appeared as company spokesperson on over 200 radio and television programs. He's negotiated, arranged and organized hundreds of events.
Richard's owned businesses, been a COO, CEO, and Director of Development, as well as a consultant. His company Website is http://www.plan2lead.net/, and he can be followed on Twitter @rgbrody. For great information on many topics, visit PLAN2LEAD's Facebook page and LIKE ( http://www.facebook.com/Plan2lead )