Some Critical Leadership Lessons
By Tim Cloyd
All great leaders develop narratives with a central story and message and root them in their personal experiences. These stories are flexible – used and told in different ways depending on the audience. And when the external environment changes their adaptive capacity allows them to create new stories.
All human beings have crucible experiences. Leaders learn from theirs and turn them into stories of lessons they have learned and what they have overcome. This makes the leader easier for the common man to identify with, sympathize with, and confirms the common man’s desire to believe in the leader’s authenticity.
Four things great leaders do:
1) they stay attuned to the audience recognizing that most people are searching guidance about identity;
2) they attend to the vision and storytelling mission while making sure others maintain and nurture his organizational base;
3) they deliberately create time for reflection to have an uncluttered mind that is necessary for innovation and creative decisions and not distracted by the transitory events of the day. The demands on you for personal attention can become so great that you lose the ability to step back and take stock in which case you risk losing your sense of agency and may become the tool for other forces or individuals;
4) finally, great leaders resist the temptation to make off the cuff comments even if they believe they are in private with their own staff (betrayal and leaks are the fuel of politics ) and they resist making on the spot commitments or decisions especially if under pressure to do so and particularly if the leader is hungry, angry, lonely, or exhausted.
And from Machiavelli
The Prince should try and isolate himself from other powerful aristocrats who would draw him into one-on-one exchanges thereby making it easier to extract (extort) commitments. Some Princes do this by forming trusted advisory groups that vet any and all requests for favors.
“Beware who you trust – for those who believe that they had a hand in putting you into power will become your worst enemies – they feel entitled.”
“Fortuna always goes to the Bold!”