The Major Attributes of leadership #12:
Now going off-script (relative to the observations of Napoleon Hill) with some observations of my own, guided and influenced by some of the best leaders I have had the pleasure of working with …
Leaders need “core values”, which they can impart to their followers to inspire and promote the best they can get out of those who serve them and whom they serve. It is a truly symbiotic relationship. As I have stated earlier in these… blogs … the goal is to ensure the whole is greater than the sum of its parts … that the inspiration of the leader elevates the followers to give and accomplish far more than they even realize they are capable of.
So … #12: Flexibility:
A leader cannot be rigid and inflexible. We live in the most dynamic and diverse (not to mention challenging) time in history. The face of business, information, technology and the economy change very quickly and it is nearly impossible to predict and control what happens from day to day. In fact, I would go so far as to say that “Control is an illusion”. People become very rigid in their plans and expectations and when “control” slips through their fingers, they become angry, frustrated, irrational, even vengeful. The reality is that there is very little in our lives or the circumstances of our daily activities that we actually control. In law this is called “Force Majeure”, which loosely means things which no one can control … things like weather, labor shortages, the affairs of sovereign nations which may result in war, affecting supply chains or raw materials costs, etc. Indeed, control is an illusion that can easily set a Leader up to fail if flexibility is lacking.
Followers cannot be demeaned or criticized for circumstances they may have no control over, nor can a good leader be arbitrarily punitive. A good leader must understand that the path to the goal rarely, if ever, follows the map outlined at the outset of a venture. Therefore, being flexible and creative in response to changing circumstances and demands is an absolute necessity if we expect our followers to continue to grow in their faith and trust in our leadership. Rigidity and lack of flexibility will only generate frustration and defeatism in the ranks of our followers.