As a leader, it’s not enough to be right
13 December 2021
You may find yourself asking “I know that I’m right, this needs to be done, why can’t I get this to happen in my company?”
Even if we are right about something, communicating both the how and the why of our decisions or point of view is just as important as being right. Leaders, no matter where they are in the hierarchy, need to recognize that leading people is more than just being right.
When a founder successfully launches a business, in many ways, the traction and the launch is validation that you, the founder, was right.
Right that people do need this product, solution, type of service or new take on the market. People will pay for it, and the business can turn a profit from making it. That’s a huge accomplishment and validates your judgement and risk-taking.
It’s almost natural to think that the skill and judgement about bringing a new product, service or market would translate into having everything you need to run the business that produces or provides what you’ve brought to market.
But launching a business and leading one are two different skillsets – they have different challenges and priorities. One is not necessarily more difficult than the other, but they are different. You wouldn’t assume a brain surgeon could jump into a space capsule and successfully act as an astronaut because the surgeon is “smart enough” – they need training!
And so founders often find themselves in the position where they have difficulty with their group’s performances, and they need the skills and the practice to lead a business, create a team that works well towards the business goals, and organize, whatever initiative, task or change that needs to happen.
Difficulty like this is usually because being right isn’t enough. An idea, goal, or destination needs to be communicated well in a form that the people responsible for making it a reality can understand, and the accomplishment of that task or goal needs to be meaningful to them in some way. Yes, there’s a paycheck, but after that paycheck pays for basic needs, the money is not enough to “make” someone do something beyond merely checking the boxes of his or her job. They will do just enough to keep from getting fired before accepting an offer somewhere else.
A really intelligent, capable and persistent successful founder can pivot with his or her capabilities to become a good leader with learning and guidance. Getting that advice and taking that step is a conscious decision that will make your business more valuable and successful.
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