Someone wrote me recently, “I found this an interesting top 10 list. I wonder how I do on #2…I’m high on analysis side.”
In case the link stops working sometime, here is the list:
- Sets clear strategic direction.
- Knows when to stop analyzing an issue and make a decision.
- Follows through on actions, promises, and assignments.
- Has the necessary skills and knowledge to effectively perform job duties.
- Demonstrates high ethical standards.
- Lives, leads, manages, and works with integrity.
- Accepts responsibility for own actions.
- Leverages the strengths of each team member.
- Treats others with dignity.
- Creates a working environment that motivates high individual performance.
I found the list very interesting also. In fact, I think I will use it in my coaching of others.
#2 Knows when to stop analyzing an issue and makes a decision. You may have heard the term paralysis of analysis. Some leaders are paralyzed by a decision and continually seek more information. I think those gifted as analytical leaders can overcome this tendency with wisdom gained over time in making decisions. Those of us who are gifted in the area of analysis tend to start out over-analyzing. But over time, especially in the context of deadlines, we can be like the spider in zero gravity mentioned in the article and adapt and learn to speed up the decision-making process.
One of the things that I have learned is that most things work out better than I ever expect them to work out. I never feel adequately prepared for a conference. I always wish I had more time to prepare my talks. I think there are more facts to research that would add value to my presentations or better graphics or better powerpoint themes. But I have learned that I generally am prepared enough and that my facts are good enough and that people are blessed and that my desired outcome is achieved.
If we focus on outcomes and not on process those of us in the analytical world can better let go of process and lean into the outcome. After all it’s the outcome that we’re after and the process just needs to be good enough to deliver the outcome that we want. It’s helpful for me to clearly identify the outcome and decide if what I have is good enough to get the outcome I’ve identified. If so, then doing more is wasted effort because I’ve already got enough to achieve the outcome I need.
I also appreciated the number one desired attribute: #1 Sets clear strategic direction. I have been working hard in my leadership to develop it. Andy Stanley says it this way: the role of a leader is to provide islands of clarity in the sea of confusion. He says that the role of a leader is not to provide certainty. Only God knows with certainty. But a leader can say with clarity this is what we will do. Out of all the possible things that might deliver the outcome we want, this.is.what.we.will.do. Then he measures the progress towards outcome and humbly makes mid-course corrections and if necessary he pivots and does a completely different process to deliver the outcome. A good leader does not pretend know with certainty, but he leads with clarity.
Which of these ten would most improve your leadership over the next 12 months?