To improve in an ongoing way, leaders must always make course corrections. There is no way things get better without changes. For anyone or any organisation to get better, checking in on performance is alone is not enough. A feedback loop is necessary.
Leaders must see what is working well and why it is so. This also applies to things not working the way they should. When not all the cogs are turning the way they should it is folly not to make the needed changes. The challenge is often on corrections.
When it comes to leadership, tranquil is as common as unicorns. If there’s no unrest in leading you’re either delusional, doing it wrong or both. Leading involves unrest and frustration. Unrest with the status quo and a frustration to realise an unseen future.
Addressing the status quo in pursuit of mission is messy. Chaos is guarantee to result as comfort of the present is rejected in pursuit of mission. There will always certain levels of chaos.
Chaos is a guaranteed thing in any enterprise. It cannot be separated from leading. Make peace with this fact to be a happy and effective leader.
Having said that, there are two kinds of chaos.
This kind of chaos is one that is intentionally created by leaders bringing about change. Because it is created, its impact more anticipated than the other chaos we’ll looked at.
This kind of chaos is fairly controlled and purposeful. There is a method to the madness. Because it is controlled it can be contained. That is you can experiment with changes and ideas before you scale them.
Checked chaos is like demolishing a section of a building to better reconstruct it, before it falls apart. It is about anticipating catastrophe by acting now.
Failure or disruptions are not eliminated but risk is somewhat minimised.
Unchecked (and any kind of chaos too) can teach leaders and organisations a lot, depending on how they navigate it. However, this could happen at a great price. Unchecked chaos can be the result of not doing an preventative maintenance.
Jittery leaders can add an unhealthy spin to unchecked chaos.
Leaders must be aware that chaos is inevitable. They have the option to create it or be destroyed by it. In fact leadership is most needed and should be most visible in times of chaos and instability.
Leading is about creating and navigating chaos. It is about creating and managing order to make sure that people and processes align.
Seeking a chaos-free enterprise is unrealistic. Any leader with that kind of thinking doesn’t deserve to be at the helm of anything.
Leader, make peace with the fact that chaos is inherent to leading and rise above it.
Chaos in any enterprise is inevitable. To better make sure success in your mission understand checked vs. unchecked chaos.
The longevity of leaders and enterprises varies from one to another. Likewise there are varied reasons and contexts for this. Some things are obvious and some not so much. However, there are some things that can translate across variables.
One of those things are leaders. Leaders’ influence can wane. No matter how great a leader is or has been, he is never immune from losing his influence. This danger always exists.
One of the things that leads to a leader’s decline in influence is the leader himself. All leadership starts with self. Any leader’s ability to lead others is significantly proportional to the ability to lead himself.
Investing In Growth
Organizations (should) always look for growth. The great ones understands that growth only comes with some investments of sort. It is always the result of some strategies in action. Decline in influence often starts with overlooking the importance of investing in themselves and the leaders in their enterprise.
I’ve already alluded to this but I do need to state it explicitly: Overlooking the connectedness of a leader herself and the performance of their enterprise is detrimental. For instance, the integrity of a leader at a personal level (if there ever is such a thing) affects his influence at an organizational level.
A leader must be the epitome of the values of his enterprise. When he fails to lead himself in this regard, he cannot lead others. Thus a decline in his influence ensues.
Again: the influence of any enterprise is connected to the influence of its leaders primarily within its walls. This means leaders must always keep themselves in check when it comes to translating their organisation’s values in their personal capacity.
You can’t lead effectively if your personal values don’t align with the enterprise you lead [Click to Tweet]