I’d shied away from continually defining or, should I say, redefining leadership? After all, who am I to challenge the big voices in history and present culture? Then again, why shouldn’t I be doing that? Why shouldn’t you be doing that? Redefining leadership is something that we all need to be doing. If we continue to revisit technology and culture, why can’t leadership be included in the mix?
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.
Every leader is a custodian of his or her enterprise’s pace. Change and innovation happen at the pace leaders determine.
This means leaders must be clear on values. It means teams must be in the know on what things trump others when it comes to priorities
At different times, certain things will need to be expedited.
The time leaders take to make decisions is another ‘pace determinant’. The longer the ‘stall period’ the slower the team.
The ‘stall period’ is simply the gap or time it takes for a leader to make a decision from the time he becomes aware he or she needs to make it, makes the decision and communicates it with the team(s).
Not all decisions are the same. Also, not all decisions are equal.
Some decisions call for careful thought or consideration. And other decisions not. I must point out that careful thought and consideration is not necessarily synonymous with slow or taking long to make decisions.
Also it doesn’t mean a shorter stall period either.
Leadership without accountability isn’t quite leadership. It is a recipe for failure and disaster. Leaders are responsible for ensuring that teams are on course. This includes clear review and feedback systems.
Checking in with teams will inherently include a ‘pace check’. Check-ins will ask, “are we on track? Will we arrive where we envisaged when we set these goals? At this pace where will we be at a particular time?”
One of the greatest ‘pace determinants’ must be built into strategy and goal setting. This is not rocket science and is something that had always been said so much it’s kind of cliché.
Building pace into goal-setting is important. I’m wary of including it here but, as much as I’m tired of hearing and reiterating this, it is important:
Remember to make pace setting a part of your planning. One of the reasons pace is not taken seriously is that it is not included or given space in the planning process, right from the inception of ideas, projects or initiatives.
The pace of the leader is the pace of the enterprise.
[Image Credit: Gratisography]