I love stories! It is a way you can learn a lot of things and a mode of communication can enrich your imagination! When I was young, one of my favor stories was the story about Alexander the Great and the Gordian Knot! I always admired the resolve and the decisiveness of Alexander in the face of that particular problem. Of course, at the time, I thought it was a story as the rest I heard by my parents! Only when I become a little older I realize that it was a true story of those my ancestors told to prepare the young people for their subsequent, adult, life!
The story of Alexander the Great and of the Guardian Knot is a part of my Greek heritage and depicts vividly one of the greatest lessons in modern leadership. That there is no decision free leadership and, sometimes, to solve a seemingly impossible situation you need to take the risk, assume the responsibility, and think out-of-box! The story shows that sometimes, as a leader or in a leadership position, you need to take difficult decisions! Indecisiveness does not have a room at the behavior of a leader!
A Leader Is …
A leader, by definition, is someone who takes decisions! A leader (or someone in a leadership position) is the one who:
- takes responsibility not only for his/her decision but for his/her decision’s consequences as well
- assumes accountability and ownership of the decision, regardless of the result
- does not focus on the needs of few, but he/she decided for the “greater” good
- tries always to find ways to resolve a situation towards the best possible result for all the involved parties!
A leader is usually the person who takes a shot at a situation without concerns about his/her personal interest! Even if he/she does not like the result!
There is no decision free leadership! To be a leader usually means (among other things) to:
- use all appropriate frameworks, methods, out-of-the-box approaches, ideas, tools, etc. to provide solid and quick decisions appropriate to any given situation, but be accountable for the output
- use delegation, when it is appropriate and feasible, but he/she reserves the right to decide on his/her own on the things he/she believes as his/her responsibility
- to make a lot of questions, in order to understand, in-depth, a possibly “difficult” situation
- have to open your choices and try to develop more options for you and the other people a situation might concern
- decide on difficult situations aiming at the best possible result for all concerned parties
- be responsible for his/her vision, his/her values, the means and resources he/she used, the goals he/she aims at or delegates to his/her group, his/her associates, the alliances and networks he/she forms and utilize for achieving his//her objectives, and the people he/she is responsible for their welfare and future
- remain strong in any situation
- provide empowerment to him/herself and to the people follow him/her
- take, when possible, the “extra mile“
- listen to all involved parties in a situation, but to have to decide on your own
- provide cohesion and a sense of achievability to all and in any given situation
- embrace the change, but he/she is responsible for the route
- focus on what has to be done based on the real conditions of a given situation, on what’s there and not on abstract ideas and concepts might misguide him/her on the wrong path
- be mindful of the weak links might be involved in a situation he/she must resolve
- look carefully for your next steps, to design meticulously your next moves, and to have an eye for the future
In no situation, a leader can avoid the responsibility to make a decision and act! His/her indecisiveness might cost a lot to a lot of people, companies, and organizations! This is why cannot exist a decision free leadership situation!
What do you think?