Leadership Nuggets

"But among you it will be different. Whoever wants to be a leader among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first among you must become your slave." Jesus Christ (Matthew 20:26, 27 NLT)

Monday, 23 September 2013

Leadership Nugget: Averting a Military intervention.

Dear leader,

I did say I was fascinated by the discussions and decisions going on in the United States on the Syrian crisis; Now, whilst the Americans were seeking congress approval for a 'targeted military attack', the Russians were drawing up a diplomatic proposition to deal with the crisis (at least in the short term) and they succeeded to stay a possible escalation of the crisis. This act got my respect because they were not just against the action that the US wanted to take, they provided an alternative - that is an act of leadership.

Another interesting leadership lesson is that leaders are solution provider.

It reminded me of an ex colleague of mine when I was working in West Africa region, this person was very good in identifying all the cons in a proposal at management meetings. This always helps us to look at all possible worse case scenarios, however when the time for staff performance review came, this person given a negative rating by colleagues because they felt the person was always criticising any idea, always finding something wrong with it, discouraging people and not encouraging enough. We had a conversation one day and this person was so sad because the intent in pointing out those errors was to get us to avoid them unfortunately it was not taken in that way by other people.

Since that time over ten years ago, I have appreciated that when you do not agree with a view, action or plan - provide an alternative. In the Syrian crisis, the Russian did it, I bet a lot of the world leaders heaved a sigh of relief !

As a leader if you are the one always seeing (rightly or wrongly) and pointing out everything that is not right with a course of action, without providing options for addressing these, you will be seen as a 'party pooper', cynic, pessimist, someone who revels in other people's misery.

A leader has the foresight to identify potential problems and provides solution(s) to eliminate, reduce, avoid or work through it.

Great leaders are almost always great simplifier, who can cut through argument, debate and doubt to offer a solution everybody can understand - Colin Powell


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