We have so often heard someone use some variation of the adage, It’s not enough to talk the talk, you have to walk the walk, that it appears that it is becoming merely another form of empty rhetoric. In fact, after more than three decades of seeking, identifying, qualifying, training and consulting to over a thousand individuals in some position of leadership, I have come to believe that it is somewhat rare when a leader’s WORDS actually match his deeds! There is perhaps little in the longer term that becomes more destructive and unmotivating that when someone in a position of leadership uses rhetoric that contradicts or is unrelated to his behavior and actions.
Every real leader must begin by asking himself repeatedly, “What is the goal? Why am I choosing to do it this way? When will it be achieved, and how?” Unfortunately, few individuals who only lead in name only, ever even consider these essential components. Unless a leader begins with clearcut goals, and then proactively and clearly articulates them to others, using a call to action combined with explaining why it is so important, and then proceeds in a timely manner (avoiding the deadly procrastination), and develops a timeline, with specified goals, assignments and reviews, he will never achieve anything of true significance.
Every real leader must avoid the My way or the highway mindset, understanding that there are generally several alternatives and/ or approaches. He then will best be able to see and consider nearly every opportunity, while potentiating his possibilities of weighing the options, and then choosing what appears to be the best initial course of action (Plan A). However, this must include a willingness to thoroughly plan for contingencies (have a Backup Plan).