Monthly Archives: May 2010
Does your organisation allow you to think or question?
Be cautious of organisations that do not encourage their members to think!
I have come across this process before where a consultative meeting is called for with a guise the get peoples input into a decision that has already been made. The “right words” are spoken but the reality is that all decisions have already been made.
I think that in some organisations and churches today there is a lack of critical thinking skills in both leaders and followers.
What will advance a cause is not blind following of an ideology based on tradition (no matter how young or old it is) or based on an ego or personality.
Critical thinking is essential, and the need to question is a paramount freedom that needs to exist in the life of the organisation or church. No leader should feel threatened by questioning unless they are so insecure in themselves, and if that is the case should they be in leadership? Remember not all leaders are good leaders and the insecure and egocentric leader is dangerous.
Excellence should never be confused with perfection, one is achievable the other is not.
Trying to always live up to the standards of others can often cause guilt trips as they place unachievable and unobtainable goals. This leads to people giving up as there is no chance to “win”.
If you are a leader it is right to have goals for your organisation, but to expect that everyone within that organisation shares the same level of passion or same level of skill as you will lead you to great disappointment.
I firmly believe in excellence, and this is my definition…
It is good and right to set challenging goals and expectations but unless they are achievable there will be no celebration. Hope disappears when perfection is the goal.
The only true expectation that a leader should have is that everyone (including themselves) are giving it their best.
Model the behaviour you want other people to follow.
Behaviour of leaders needs to reflect the values of the organisation. If, as a leader, you can not lead by example then it is time to step down from your position.
People will follow modelled behaviour more willingly and with greater ease than by following a manual or edict. The saying “do as I say, not as I do” has no place in leadership, there should be a simple understanding of “as I do, you also do”.
Leadership at its basic level is an example of how a life is lived.
Questions to you as a leader:
- Is your life example worth following?
- Does it match the values you talk about?
If your answer is “no” at any degree then what are you going to do about it? You have only two choices, the first is change, grow or get help; the second is leave your position or step aside, any thing else could be seen as hypocrisy. I recognise that no one is perfect and as humans, we all have weaknesses and failings, therefore this is a journey that is to be travelled.
“Anything that won’t sell, I don’t want to invent. Its sale is proof of utility, and utility is success.” – Thomas Edison
All to often, innovation is seen to be the most important part of the business model, but it is not until the innovation has become so routine and entrenched in everyday life that it is truly successful. I have said in a previous post truly significant innovations even after a short time will appear to be invisible and mundane, and they should.
So if you are an innovative person make sure you work alongside people who are able to commercialize what you do. It may mean that you have to give up some control and share profit.
Keep innovation happening, but be realistic in the commercialization potential of the creation you have just made.