- Leadership instruments are choosen without facts, on the basis of "gut feelings"
- Lots of communication does take place, but it lacks plain-talking language
The study uncovered some of the reasons, which conform with my experience. There are serious misconceptions that undermine performant leadership:
- Leadership is reduced to "charismatic" leaders, neglecting the process of leading
- Separation of thinking and doing, whereby the leader commands people to do (not to think, so they stop thinking)
- Disregard for genuine leadership work in favor of operational work (i.e. sales manager is his best salesperson)
- "Hero" conception of leadership versus the reality of daily housewife-type leadership chores to achieve consistent and sustainable results
Sure, leaders need to follow standard work with high discipline, the core of leadership does not consist of tasks. The heart of leadership are the results delivered, which in turn means accountability for these results.
This may sound simple, but it requires the courage to define a clear vision on basis of personal responsibility. Especially in times of crisis, leaders are called upon to confront the new situation, investigate the reality and face up to uncomfortable truths. Not a job for the faint of heart.
Despite being in the center of social networks, leadership contains a lonesome responsibility and no consultant or clever method can substitute for standing up to it. Too often have we been fooled by the drappings of leaders, while the actual results then turned out to be dreadful.
Instead of impressing their stakeholders with results, these so-called leaders went through the motions of leadership only - in fact duping the public (i.e. just to mention the most famous: Enron, WorldCom, Tyco, Parmalat, Madoff, Bawag, etc.). More substance, measured in results, is needed for times like ours.
For our leadership practice we should bear in mind that your next most suitable leader may well come from a different class, a different country or a different gender than yours. But, he/she will be the one that delivers results. Take´m.