Leadership requires a destination. “If you could choose only one book for me to read on leadership, what would it be?” I was asked this question by a young physician who had recently become the department chair for his medical specialty. He was a bit surprised when I suggested a book that focused on improving organizational health to create competitive advantage.
When he pushed for my reasoning, I explained that great leadership requires you to take people somewhere…building a different culture, gaining market share, or effecting a transformational change initiative. Without direction, becoming a better leader starts to look more like a popularity contest…leaders focus on what they can do that causes people to appreciate them more, whether anything is being accomplished or not.
Leadership without direction may make you popular but it will not cause employees to follow you. People want to know what you stand for, where you want to go and why, and that you have their backs in good times and bad. Lead with purpose, lead with passion, and lead with principle.
Be intentional about it…
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