The Upfront Cost of Leadership to Create Long-Term Value
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Leadership is a container, which supports healthy growth for people like a garden supports healthy growth for plants. Planting the seeds is just the beginning. The health depends on constant feeding and care. – Hugh Ballou
We are leaders because we have a vision and act on that vision. Out of every 100 people who have an idea, only 3 will do something about it. Out of the 3 that act on their vision, less than 10% will succeed. If you are leading a functioning organization, then you are in a very small segment of those who dream. Many people dream and few succeed.
Insuring success comes with a price – that is equipping yourself for success. Define the strategy and develop the skills for implementing that strategy. After all, your vision will not happen if you don’t make it happen.
The price, your investment, is risk mitigation, in the viewpoint of an investor. Your investment is creating clarity with careful, strategic, planning and implementation. Very few of us, if any, can do this alone. I teach strategy and leadership implementation. I can’t do those things for myself with either of my enterprises – a for-profit or nonprofit. I need specialists in those skills to assist me in gaining objective perspective, to identify my blind spots, and to fill in the gaps in my thinking and awareness.
When I interview potential clients, I typically ask the following questions:
- What is your vision?
- Identify your competition?
- What makes you different from the competition?
- What’s the gap between today and the realization of your vision?
- Do you have a written strategic plan?
Often, I get the following responses:
- Lots of unclear, rambling thoughts that are unclear and not specific.
- Lack of knowledge or denial of competition
- A description that could apply to thousands of others.
- Unsure of what’s next.
- There’s no written plan, but I know what I want. A written plan will limit my creativity. Also, I’m to busy to do this?
Here’s how I reply:
- Until you can identify your vision and people can understand why they need you, there’s no reason to do anything further.
- If there’s no competition, then there might not be a need.
- You sound like a lot of others, why do you need to launch (or grow) you initiative?
- It’s what you don’t know that will compromise or even block your success.
- There’s no success without a strategy in writing and an integration of that plan with team performance.
If a leader is not willing to invest in the “upfront cost” of building a solid foundation for the enterprise, then why should they expect to succeed? You can’t build a house with no solid foundation and expect that it will last for long. You can’t, or shouldn’t attempt to fly a plane without taking flying lessons. And, certainly you can’t launch and grow a successful enterprise without preparation and hard work…much of which comes at the beginning.
The “Upfront Cost” is by far lower that the cost to replace or repair later on. The loss of time, money, and likely in relationships is far greater.
Why not invest in success?
I’ll see you on the video…and then in the winner’s circle!
The Transformational Leadership Strategist TM
(c) 2017 Hugh Ballou. All rights reserved