The Biggest Decision
I once started a speech on the first day of a course I was teaching on “leadership” many years ago to a group of senior managers by asking them what lay at the heart ❣of their job.
Then someone yelled out –
The others agreed – “yes, taking decisions!”
“Ok, I said … this is a three day course , why don’t you all come tell me on the last day and share with everyone what your biggest decisionof the week was and we’ll discuss it”
On the last day, the senior manager that first spoke on day one, embarrassingly said-
“ I thought about it and … I didn’t actually take anything that could be considered a big decision “
It was interesting but the other managers also agreed that they hadn’t taken anything that would be classed as a “big decision “
“Was it an odd week, then?” I asked them
NO. It was a typical week.
The importance of good, well-run systems
As I sit here in one of my local pubs enjoying the Rugby 🏉World 🌍Cup games with beer 🍺, I reflect on my experience and think 🤔–
We all have 86,400 seconds in a day.
What and how we use those seconds for matters. Time is all we have and all we’ll really have while we are breathing. Good, well-run systems saves time (due to efficiencies and effectiveness controls built into the systems).
If time = $,
Saving time = saving $
I spent about ten years of my life working as a Risk Consultant for Major multinationals. A big part of what I did was learn all their key systems and compared them to world best practices and wrote up detailed reports /recommendations for senior leaders and boards for their large multinationals.
Sometimes the comparison was relevant, and sometimes it wasn’t.
I enjoyed this and many parts of the many hats 🧢I wore when dealing with these high-paying and high-demanding clients. What I found was that corporations that had well designed and well-run systems in place were great for senior leaders.
Those that didn’t have these key systems running smoothly and/or didn’t have the desire or inclination to implement improvements to their existing key 🔑systems, spelled disaster for the poor leaders put in charge. In a lot of cases, these poor leaders were actually much better as leaders than the lucky leaders that were put in charge of companies that had systems that were “well-oiled”/well-run systems.
I learned many things in my experience with these medium sized & large corporations. They learned a lot from me & my recommendations for improvement too. That ultimately impacted in their bottom-line improvement goals.
Here’s one key & relevant thing:
When it comes to leaders and leadership, a well-run system or processes make life much easier for them – the leaders.
The truth as I see it is : Leaders don’t truly or only , or even mostly, take decisions in well-run systems. They’re simply lucky and if they have most of the other competencies and behavioural traits that good leaders need to have, they will be held up in high regard.
It doesn’t matter where – in the corporate environment or on the sporting field or in the family home. Well-run systems gives the leaders the freedom to NOT make big decisions.
What do great leaders do that make them better than the “good leaders”
I’ve met and read a lot of and about good leaders in all walks of life – business, church, sports, human relationships etc
I’ve also met great leaders and from my experience.
What separates the great leaders from good leaders?
Well, firstly, we’ve established that leaders DO NOT have all the answers but always see a problem as an opportunity to find a solution.
Let us ask – what does a great leader do?
Good leaders spend quite a bit of time picking the people who pick the people who do make the decisions. Yep, that is what “good” leaders do.
And that is fundamentally what makes them a good leader.
There was a friend & board member of one ☝️of the largest Insurance Companies in Australia 🇦🇺& the world 🌎training in my family gym.
My family gym that I owned and managed for 7 years of my life.
He was the husband of an existing client of mine. A lovely guy, very straight up and very astute. Was part of his job of “making decisions” for the direction of the corporation. His area was Corporate Risk & Compliance.
I asked him once – “what do you do… what do you spend your time doing?”
He said (his name was Roger) –
“I spend a lot of time picking the people who pick the people who do make the decisions.”
I said –
He said that he spent a lot of time picking the Heads of departments or divisions and then … waited five years.
“Alright” I thought 💭, so that is interesting. But what if you did not have five years? We’ll leave that question for another time.
So, to me, good leaders spend quite a bit of their time making decisions , important but trivial decisions in the whole scope of the game they’re playing (business or sport or religion…)
That’s well and good for “good leaders” but what makes a “great leader “ I thought 💭
The Great Leader is simply, Great Dreamers
GREAT Leaders don’t spend their time picking people. No, Great Leaders – Of Countries, of large corporations, of religions …. they don’t spend their time making trivial (but important decisions)
Great 👍Leaders truly and authentically LEAD.
They have a way with communicating their message.
They understand that the human brain 🧠works best with images … with their imagination.
They are GREAT at communicating their message /vision clearly, concisely and consistently.
They manage those “3 Cs “ better than anyone else , better than the just “good leaders”.
So, I have found that Great Leaders – Sporting Captains if teams, Chairmen or Presidents it Prime Ministers if countries etc …. they are very effective at communicating their mission/message.
But not just communication masters, no, more importantly, they are Masters at re-packaging old products and selling them differently.
Yep, they are great effective communicators because they put old facts into new bottles, they dream up new names for problems , they imagine new possibilities… of re-painting an old picture /problem.
They are great at re-conceptualising the familiar so that new solutions pop up! They simply ask a different and RIGHT question.
Great Leaders are Adapt at listening to their intuition
Dreamers change the world 🌎 and are adapt at listening to their intuition when making decisions.
Great Leaders are Born, not made. Some would like to argue otherwise but it is a losing argument from all angles.
There are many over the centuries and since man kept records.
One such great leader is – Mahatma Gandhi. He turned a resistance movement from active to passive. As a result , he made it invincible.
Former US President- John Kennedy was similar – was not a great decision maker by any means but was a Master at selling his dream, his imagination of a better nation … of a better world.
There are many others but not as many as good leaders. The latter at outnumbers the former, 1000,000: 1.
The world needs more Great Leaders but why doesn’t the many Top Management schools worldwide churn them out? Why don’t the Best Business Schools train more and create more Great Leaders?
Can we produce these types of leaders?
History suggests not.
But this is exactly what nations need, what Champion sporting teams need. it is what humans really desire in Leaders.
I fear though, that, based on the lack of frequency of great leaders over history, business schools and education institutions can only produce a little, if it is actually there.
I believe Great Leaders are Born, they are not made. Good leaders can be created/trained/made but will never be great.
Learn from Jesus, he was a Great Failure. A Great example of a Great Leader
If you wrote out Jesus CV, I think 🤔it would read like a failure … a huge failure.
Jesus was a Big Failure , yep, just like you and me.
Yep, he fucked up in many ways then you and I and everyone we know put together.
He failed – yes, but did he change the world 🌎– a BIG YES!
What was great about him ? Despite his history of not making decisions and giving very few commands and despite actually doing very little, he was GREAT.
How did this guy, dreamer change the world 🌎? How did this man with wild imagination do it?
Well, we now know that he was a Master of “painting the same picture” but with a different coat, different and better, kore appealing colours .
He was clear on his vision, his powerful imagination & intuition and was a Master as communicating that message to his followers
– Clearly, Concisely and Consistently.
He was a great failure but was the Master at the 3 Cs. Made him one of the Greatest of all Great Leaders that ever walked the face of this earth.
There’s Hope for us All
If Jesus, one ☝️of, if not, the greatest leader that ever lived had a CV that read like a failure, there is hope for us all. Ok, maybe not you, but I know and believe there is hope for me and people like me.
Re-tell your story with a different brush and paint the same picture with different colours. Re-package the same product in better, more appealing ways just like the hugely successful KFC does.
Simply , consistently communicating their message/core product (fried chicken & fries) in new packages.
Become the Master of re-packaging you, your product, the same old message in different bottles.
It’s worked for centuries and it will work today.
So, there’s hope for us all – for the rest of us. It is not our dull CV that will be remembered but the stories and pictures we re-package and tell others.
The Unsung Heroes 🦸♂️
There are many unsung heroes out there… you may be one, I’m certain of it.
Find your voice, your strengths, then …
With authenticity, with conviction and with Vitality and …. know that not all heroes wear capes
Most heroes are unsung and unappreciated and are normal guys and girls just like you and me
thats just life
cheers & ahoy!
The old Captain Viking Pirate 🏴☠️ ⚔️Muscled 💪monk 🤔😎🦸♂️