It’s a funny thing about leadership.
By definition, it’s one of the most important roles on the planet. Your job is fundamentally about spreading ideas. You fail to spread your ideas, you’re toast.
We know this, you know this…
And yet people take it for granted. People think it’s something that “just happens”.
You get the job, the organization gives you the title, and ‘poof’ like magic, you are a leader.
This is why something like 70% of change initiatives fail. Change is by definition management, and it is that failure rate that is the cause of why many managers become what Redshirts are to Star Trek. The first to be killed, the expendables.
You took the ‘leadership training’, learned to be ‘authentic’, read the seven, ten, twelve, habits of successful leaders; bought all the bestsellers in the airport bookstore.
Yet wind up like the managers at Haier.
We hear this question from stressed managers a lot: how do you get people to be more ‘accountable’ to do what they are told to do?
That’s not a very helpful question.
Better questions would be, “How do I enroll people in the challenge of solving problems, caring about what I care about?”
Or, how do I inspire and motivate people to show up ready to give more?”
Or, how do we create clarity and connection?
In other words, it’s not about directing people, it is about enrolling them in your cause. Can you align people to believe what you believe, to own your vision?
Do you even have a vision?
The challenge is ultimately about influence. Can you convince people to act? Not because you are their boss, but because you are a compelling leader?
Stepping up, being worthy of trust, worthy of being followed?
Easier said than done.