In his book, Purpose: The Starting Point of Great Companies, Nikos Mourkogiannis indicates a critical component of leadership – to think. “Thinking is the starting point of change. Without it you can not possibly discover your purpose, choose your strategic position and align the two.” Of course the thinking activity takes time.
Mourkogiannis further points out an inherent flaw, “Give a leader a Blackberry, a dozen direct reports, some commitments to charity, and a seat on a few corporate boards – and then ask him to think? There isn’t time. He can’t possibly do it.”
Isn’t this a problem in many other areas as well? We don’t take the time to think or to plan. Why? We’re too busy tending to the day-do-day. We flow with the current, repeat the same mistakes over and over again, and then we ask, “How did we allow ourselves to get to this point?”
Thoughts Joe and Wanda?
Joe Kerr: Obviously Nikos doesn’t understand the fundamental concept of delegation. My admin handles my charitable responsibilities, and 90% of the board activities, and I lean on HR for help with my directs. I just need to show up. Great leaders know how to delegate. As for thinking, that’s what consultants are for.
Do you happen to have an aspirin? My head hurts.
Wanda B. Goode: This is indeed a huge problem. However, even if there were less to do, people would still struggle with the thinking and the planning. Why? It’s not a comfortable thing. It’s harder. Further, it does not generate immediate results. People will avoid things that make them uncomfortable, especially when they don’t get any immediate benefit. It is so much easier to just show up and jump from one crisis to the next.
The key to sustained success is doing the important things in the short term that will benefit in the long-term. It’s a fairly simple concept, but not an easy one to execute.
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