Does Leadership Really Matter?

I wish I’d paid more attention in psychology classes in college. It seems like every day is an opportunity to use the principles and practices my professors were trying to teach me. One of the lessons that seemed to stick was the idea that our beliefs really do affect our behavior.

What I believe about people affects the way I treat them. What I believe about stewardship impacts how I use my time and money. My beliefs about parenting largely determine how I parent my children. The list goes on and on.
So, since you’re reading this post, I’m guessing you are a leader, an emerging leader, or my mom. Let’s focus on the first two groups today.
What do you believe about leadership? One of my beliefs is that...

Everything rises and falls on leadership.

I think about this idea every time I see an abandoned building or a business that has failed. I wonder where they got off course - where did they fail? My guess, most often is that it was a failure of leadership.
Countries, churches, businesses, schools, armies, non-profit organizations, hospitals, and even families, depend on leadership. Good leadership tends to create good results, and bad leadership tends to garner bad results. Notice I chose the word “tends.” That was intentional. I understand even the best leaders do, from time to time, face circumstances out of their control. However, if I could make only one decision to increase the odds of success for ANY organization, I would focus on leadership.
Pretend for a moment you believe this idea – everything rises and falls on leadership. What are the potential implications for you and me? I’ll share just three of many.
We must continue to grow our own leadership. If my premise is true, it starts with us! John Maxwell talks often about leaders who are unable to take their organizations to the next level – because they are the lid. The way to remove the lid is to keep growing! Become a better leader - get better results.
We should recruit and select leaders and future leaders. If you believe leadership is the most critical factor in the success of any enterprise, you need a healthy and vibrant talent pipeline full of leaders and emerging leaders. Look at the last 10 people you selected. How many of them are future leaders in your organization?
We should build a leadership culture in our organizations. I define a leadership culture as a place where leaders are routinely and systematically developed – and you have a surplus of leaders. The first half of the statement is about the process and discipline we need in our organizations. The second half is about how we know when we’ve actually created a leadership culture. How many leaders in your organization are “ready now” when the next leadership position becomes available?
What we believe really does matter. Our beliefs drive our behaviors.[GLS_Shield]
What do you believe about leadership?


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