The upcoming Presidential election, if nothing else, is one for the history books. No matter which side of the aisle you are on, you likely have noticed that this year’s process is getting more than the usual amount of attention.
Early on, there was great debate as to whether or not an outsider could adequately fill the highest political position in the land. The arguments did have some merit. After all, being President of a country is very different from being president of a corporation; and leading a surgical team to repair brain damage is very different from leading a team to repair a country…or is it?
The fact is, there are similar leadership principles that apply in each of these scenarios.
Think about it.
How often does a CEO, who has never served as such, step up to that position with full knowledge of exactly what to do?
It is safe to assume that none have ever done so. They may understand financials. They may have an MBA. They may understand the dynamics of working with people. They may understand the mechanics of the business. But every business has its own unique combination of culture, challenges, and business choreography – therefore, each position has a learning curve.
Essentially, you allocate time to the new endeavor. Everyone has the same number of hours in a day. Great leaders know that in order to say “yes” to a new endeavor, you must say “no” to many current ones. You bring the best of your strengths to the table. You state a clear and compelling common goal. And you surround yourself with those who know more than you in the areas of your weakness. Working together, you can find solutions to problems that you otherwise may not have been able to solve. Like a good surgical team, you then dive into the details and, with great precision, make the necessary repairs.
Like everyone, I have no idea who will win this year’s election. And certainly, no candidate is perfect. But I have observed a leadership pattern in history that works. If you are taxed with a new position which involves an excursion into unknown territory, follow the pattern of great leaders in history:
- Allocate time to the new endeavor.
- Be strong on principles.
- Know your strengths.
- State the vision in very clear terms.
- Learn all you can by observation and asking questions.
- Adapt to the culture without compromising on principles.
- Identify the issues.
- Create a strong team composed of individuals with track records in resolving these types of issues.
- Create a plan together.
- Identify the benchmarks and deadlines.
- Communicate the plan clearly to your people, and let them hold you accountable.
- Execute the plan.
Not sure where to start?
Click here for a resource that will help you carve out time to pursue your new endeavor.