No Leadership: You obviously don’t want to be here. This isn’t a starting point, it is a failure point. No assured sense of direction and little if any consistent action.
Vague Leadership: You embrace the concept of “ready, fire, aim.” You constantly introduce bold new initiatives. You have a bias for action. You want your teams in high gear and every person in every department must be busy.
Some leaders think they can achieve greatness simply by setting lofty goals. Others don’t set any goals at all, aside from some vague directive to increase sales. Either way, your chances of reaching the summit are low indeed if you’re not taking the right and consistent actions to get there.
Vague leadership results in misstarts, wasted resources and energy. Worse, there’s a very good chance you’ll end up where you don’t want to be.
Wishful Leadership: If you’re in this quadrant, you know where you want to go, but you either haven’t figured out how to get there or you aren’t taking the necessary action to do so. You want to climb Mt. Everest but you haven’t taken climbing lessons, or if you once took them, you’re not practicing what you learned.
The wishful leader listens to his experts, takes lots of notes, convenes many meetings but then never drives for completed action. Information gathering substitutes for action taking. The inundation of information can be paralyzing, particularly in this day and age when Big Data seems to be driving every business decision.
Intentional Leadership: In 2020, there will be no accidental leaders who achieve sustained success. Sure, there will be flukes and anomalies, but intention is required to create the future you aspire to for you and your team.
Intentional leadership is knowing where you want to go and taking consistent action in the world as it is, not in the world that was, to get there.
Sometimes leaders take actions that might have worked in the world that was, but not the world that is. The world as it is has placed demands on today’s leader that have radically changed the game. You’ve likely seen these ideas discussed elsewhere – ideas like culture, inspiration, and the ever-changing economy. What you probably haven’t seen is how these three forces connect, because they all feed into one another. And it’s at their point of intersection that we find the heart of true business leadership in today’s world.
If intention is the word of 2020, how do you use it to lead effectively? It comes down to two simple but powerful questions:
- What do we aspire to do?
- Are we taking the consistent action to do it?