Leadership: You’re Doing It Wrong…

– Gump was right, ‘stupid is as stupid does’

No question that leadership takes effort. Equally, there’s no valid question that leading has become more difficult today than just 2-5 years past (seems like an eternity ago, doesn’t it?).

Having said that, it seems some go out of their way to make things more difficult than they need be. It’s like taking the wrong way to get somewhere, all the while knowing it’s the wrong way, but still doing it anyway.


Are you kidding me? Is this “leadership” stuff so easy that we can make it unnecessarily difficult? Personally, I think not. Let’s take a page from our doctor’s playbook who, after being told by his patient that “it hurts to do that,” the doctor simply says, “Well, then don’t do that anymore.”

Or, to quote the inveterate Bob Newhart… Two words: Stop It!

This can be easier than we think. For example:

1. Leadership is timeless. Remember that most leadership principles, theories and concepts (and most applications) haven’t changed much in over 2,000 years. Sure, some demographic movements have caused a change in some application, but by and large, human behavior and leadership success today are consistent with a couple of millennia ago…

Just because some consultant or academic comes out with a new glossy-backed book, extolling us to do something we think we’ve been doing already for two decades, doesn’t make it new. Nor does it mean we should change what we’re doing, necessarily.

2. Insanity defined. I think it’s been attributed to Albert Einstein: ‘The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.’ Stop that. If it didn’t work for your boss, and it isn’t working for you, it’s time to take a new approach. No, I don’t subscribe to the “anything would be better” line of thinking, but it may be time to bring in a Magi, or someone similar to help discover new ways to repeat old successes…

3. You can’t fix stupid. I’ve heard this for years, though Ron White may have made it currently popular. It still has a huge basis for leadership thinking… our folks must bring three things to the table: Work ethic, honesty, and sufficient intellect.

Hire for great organization fit, cultural adaptability and intellect. We can add/improve abilities, develop skills, even provide experiences to build on.

But we can’t fix stupid.

Focus on what’s really important, keep leadership as simple as possible, cultivate trust and credibility. It’s easier than you might think…

But that’s just me…

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