How to Make the Difficult Look Easy

The sign of a professional is someone who makes the difficult look easy. This can be said in many walks of life. It can also be said of leaders. Have you ever seen a leader who was able to bring out the best from every member of his or her organization and make it appear effortless? I have…
My team invested years looking for organizations that made it look easy – “it” can be defined as whatever these organizations, and their leaders, were attempting to accomplish: wins in the athletic world, sales, profits and customer satisfaction in the business arena, or flawless execution of life and death military missions, and more.
[tweet_box design="default"]The sign of a professional is someone who makes the difficult look easy.[/tweet_box]
This is the fourth post in a series outlining a leadership eco-system that explains how leaders grow themselves and their influence. It also explains why so many leaders struggle. The four stages are Lead Self, Lead Others, Lead Teams and today, the final installment, Lead Organizations.
Many women and men lead organizations, far less are able to create High Performance Organizations. That was the puzzle my team was trying to solve. Why do some organizations consistently outperform others with the exact same market conditions? The easy answer is leadership. We knew that before we started; but the harder question was what do leaders do DIFFERENTLY in these rare organizations?
We discovered the leaders in these organizations were certainly capable of leading self, others and teams – no surprise. What sets them apart is what they do with their entire workforce. I’ve written extensively about this in Chess Not Checkers and the accompanying Field Guide I co-authored with Randy Gravitt. So, rather than repeat those ideas here, I thought a few observations on change might be more helpful.
Progress is always preceded by change. For an organization to change, a leader must change. As Randy is fond of saying, “Your current systems, structure and behaviors are perfectly aligned to give you the results you are getting today.” Guess who creates the systems, structure and allows the behaviors? Leaders. The number one impediment to creating a High Performance Organization is its leaders.
Many leaders hold a faulty belief that the future will be an extension of the past… Wrong. Look at the last five years in your world; it would probably be easier to list the things that haven’t changed than to list all that has. Marshall Goldsmith said prophetically years ago, “What got you here, won’t get you there.” Great leaders embrace this reality.
[tweet_box design="default"]“What got you here, won’t get you there.”- Marshall Goldsmith[/tweet_box]
Good news - you do not have to be a victim of your past! To learn to lead a High Performance Organization and master the four moves: Bet on Leadership, Act as One, Win the Heart, and Excel at Execution are within the reach of every leader who is willing to step into the arena.
If you don’t know where to begin, I would suggest the Chess Not Checkers Assessment. This tool is designed for your ENTIRE organization to answer a few diagnostic questions that will allow you to move forward armed with the truth about the current state of your organization.
When you and I learn to Lead Self, Lead Others, Lead Teams and Lead Organizations, then and only then, are we capable of realizing our full leadership potential. I hope that dream excites you as much as it does me!
Enjoy the journey![GLS_Shield]


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