Michael Hyatt, chairman of Nashville-based Thomas Nelson Publishers and an expert on “intentional leadership,” has posted an interesting article probing the question, “Why do leaders exist?”
He says the answer is this: Leaders exist to create a shift in reality.
“Without leaders, things drift along. They go where they want to go, following the path of least resistance. However, when this is not desirable—or acceptable—you hire, elect, appoint or become a leader. The leader’s job is to overcome resistance and make things flow in a different direction. His or her job is to create a different reality.”
I don't think too many entrepreneurs ask why leaders exist. They know things need to be done—they see opportunities for change all around them—and they know that nobody else will do it quite the way they do. They take positions of leadership because it’s the only way things get done.
Hyatt offers four steps for shifting the status quo:
1. Identify what needs to change. What is unacceptable about your current environment? What frustrates you? What disappoints you? What needs to change?
2. Determine the outcome you seek. What do you want to create in the place of the status quo? Many people call this vision, and while it may change over time, possibly sooner than you think, it’s an essential first step.
3. Decide how you will achieve your outcome. This is what is commonly called strategy. Good leaders pick the course that will produce the results they are after in the most economical way.
4. Create an action plan. Once you have a vision and strategy, you must craft an action plan with specific milestones and due dates. You have to be able to measure your progress against time and effort.
There is another important step that you will have to follow (and repeat again and again) throughout your leadership effort. You must enroll and align your team. When you don't keep their needs firmly in mind, you’ll encounter doubt and even resistance. Not because your people are rebellious, lazy, or stupid, says Hyatt, but because you didn’t do your job as a leader.
Good leaders get things done.
Read Hyatt’s original blogpost here