Making Things Happen

Credibility is Golden: Credibility is a leader's most important asset; once lost, credibility may be impossible to regain, and so leaders must guard credibility and take care to never lose it.

Character matters: Character for a leader is action. Leaders are judged by what they do, not what they are. Little good can come from being good; you must do good things. You must be resolute in the face of crisis - the rock for your team to stand on when times are tough. And leaders should be in the shadow when success arrives.

Acknowledge shortcomings: Look for ways to overcome your weaknesses. Surround yourself with people who complement you in skills and personality. If you are the visionary type, get some practical people to carry out your ideas. If you are someone who is quick on the trigger, temper-wise, make sure you have calm and collected people beside you.

Live your values: Putting “value statements” on the wall may look good, but take time to read them. Better yet - act on them. Living values is easy when the going is good; the challenge arises when times are tough. When tough decisions need to be made, consider your values. Doing what is right may cause hardship but it’s better to give up what is expedient in favor of what is sustainable.

And, even the best intentioned of leaders and organizations make mistakes. When this happens, the leader or the organization must quickly accept responsibility.

So, if a mistake is made, admit it and seek to make amends immediately. Don’t wait until things blow over - they won’t - until you act. Doing so requires guts.

And when a procedure or policy may be violated if a certain decision is taken, take away the fear. Just ask:

  • is it legal?
  • is it good for the organization?
  • is it good for stakeholders?

If the answer is yes to all three, go ahead, take the decision and stick with it - it’s unlikely you’ll be punished. The opposite may happen - you may be rewarded for taking the bull by the horns and making the best of the situation - making lemonade from lemons.

Credibility is essential to leadership - leadership means making things happen