Leadership is a quality anyone can have but it takes work to be an effective leader. In the reading A Message to Garcia it states that the rarest skill is the ability to execute.
“The ability to execute
is more valuable than
education or talent,
because it is far rarer.”
It takes focus, self-discipline, and grit to be able to execute a task well, especially when no one is watching. It’s important for effective leaders to be able to execute their ideas. In the reading, there is a passage that states, “Woody Allen said that 90% of life is “just showing up.” If so, the most important
10% of life is execution. Far too few people do either consistently. But if the ability to execute is so valuable, why is it so rare? Why aren’t more people self-starters who can stay on task until the job is finished?” (3) Many people think this is due to current culture, instant gratification, distractions, and so on.
Here are a couple of habits and attitudes to adopt to be able to improve your ability to execute:
- Accept the mission and get started.
- Be curious.
- Immediately sketch out a plan.
- If you need resources, don’t be afraid to ask.
- Enlist help when needed.
- Report back and show your work.
- Underpromise and overdeliver.
- Expect to make (small) mistakes.
- Put results before schmoozing.
- Replace the voices in your head with positive action.
These are all proactive habits, each one will help propel you to see the end result of a task. Hence creating a habit to be able to execute making you a valuable employee, business owner, leader, and so on.
Leadership with a Small “L”
Kim B. Clark stated, “It is a call to lead as Christ leads. It is leadership with a small “L”—the kind of leadership that builds and lifts and inspires through kindness and love and unselfish devotion to the Lord and His work.”
He goes onto explain how to implement this type of leadership:
- lead by example
- lead with vision
- lead with love
Leadership is more effective when it is done through the list above. A leader who says one thing and does the opposite is a hypocrite and no one will listen or follow a hypocrite. A leader without vision isn’t a leader, they’re a puppet for someone else. A leader should have a vision and be able to lead people to that vision. They should be passionate about their vision and also filled with love. A leader who has an objective no love can resemble that of a dictator. They will do whatever is necessary to accomplish their vision even if that means sacrificing important social and personal moral standards.
How to go from Good to Great
There are good leaders and there are great leaders. There are good companies and there are great companies and so on and so forth. So how does an individual or business make that leap from good to great?
In this reading Jim Collins explains the following about this concept:
“Good is the enemy of great. And that is one of the key reasons
why we have so little that becomes great. We don’t have great
schools, principally because we have good schools. We don’t
have great government, principally because we have good
government. Few people attain great lives, in large part because
it is just so easy to settle for a good life.”
Being good at something in essence creates a comfort zone, it’s a plateau of sorts. To be able to continue on the road to mastery or greatness a person has to push through that plateau of just being good. In business this is achieved by having the right people on your team. You cannot have a great company with people who don’t share the vision or the values of the company. You cannot have a great company with people who are negative and dislike their job and bring other people down because of their own unhappiness.
I worked in 2 different call centers. One was an incredibly negative environment, customers were usually waiting in the queue for 2-3 hours. Management made frequent changes which weren’t always positive. These were changes which made our jobs more difficult, almost everyone dreaded going into work. It was a very toxic environment and the negativity spread it was a common consensus that anyone who worked there hated their job and it was just to get them to the next job.
Two years after some life changes I found myself in another call center. It was a completely different environment. Management cared about their employees, even managers who weren’t directly over you knew who you were and cared about you. There were frequent parties, free food, and a culture that cultivated positivity. They also made an emphasis that a call center is a breeding ground for negativity, so those who hated their job and complained were given warnings and if there wasn’t a change they were let go.
That made a huge difference. The second call center I worked in understood how to go from being a good company to being a great company. This was by having a positive work environment and being weary of who is on the team. Negative people will bring a company down and decrease the quality of work.
In My Own Business
As an entrepreneur, I love the fact that I get to choose who is on my team and how systems and processes are run. I have had a lot of experience in the corporate world and working one on one with other small to medium size businesses. I have been a website designer and an SEO account manager and throughout the years I have seen the difference it makes to be a leader through small “L” leadership, by leading by example and through love. I have also seen how having the right or wrong people can have an influence on the quality of service or a product.