Leaders have one primary responsibility. Facilitate their team toward accomplishing a mission.
However, the mission has become so complicated, ambiguous, and involving so many stakeholders that it can feel nearly impossible to accomplish in a way that satisfies everyone.
This dichotomy is the ultimate challenge in leadership.
When we look at leadership, growth, and change in business, there is only one certainty. Saying, “Because we have always done it that way.” is always the wrong answer. Homogeneous thinking is, and complacency is a sure way to miss something, fail to put something in place or be left behind.
As leaders reconnaissance becomes one of our primary responsibilities, we have to remain situationally aware and understand not only the lay of the land. We also have to become acutely aware of what is out there as far as opportunities and challenges, and how these can affect us, and how our actions affect not only those above and below us but also those adjacent, as well as internally and externally.
I had the distinct pleasure of speaking with Bawa Jain, the Secretary-General for the World Council of Religious Leaders at the United Nations, and one of the founders of The Center for Responsible Leadership.
He poses three simple questions to help resolve these issues and lists these three critical principles towards assisting leaders in finding sustainable solutions to their missions and directives.
- Are we making decisions for the present or the future?
- Are we acting out of conviction or convenience?
- Is this constructive or destructive?
Our answers to these questions can help us build some foundational clarity to our mission that can help us alleviate the challenges behind conflicting stakeholders, ambiguity, and complexity in our goals and directives.
As leaders, we do not have the latitude to think that we are ever “in charge” instead, we have to accept the responsibility that our teams, people, mission and accomplishments are in our charge. It is up to us in our roles to find the most positive, and productive methodologies and outcomes towards meeting the opportunities that we see before ourselves.
You can find our podcast conversation with Bawa Jain on The Leadership Update Brief on C-Stuite Radio.
Ed Brzychcy is former U.S. Army Infantry Staff-Sergeant with service across three combat deployments to Iraq. After his time in the military, he received his MBA from Babson College and now coaches organizational leadership and growth through his consultancy, Blue Cord Management.