Thursday, October 22, 2009

Executive Boldness, Unlocking Leadership Paralysis

Correct me if I'm wrong, but there seems to be a general dearth of executive boldness. No, I don't mean there are a lack of executives out there. Generally ... the people are there. The boldness is not.

Some leaders are wired to be bold, but they are hamstrung by politics and procrastination.

To unlock leadership paralysis and avoid mediocrity requires a different way of thinking ... thinking that isn't occupied with looking over its shoulder and watching its backside wondering what people will think and whether or not it's 'correct' or good for your own future.

Executive boldness puts others at the center. It sees possibilities and a better future and goes for it. Boldness puts itself out there ... on the line, going for what is best.

Five Starting Points

  1. Make your own decision - Don't be double minded, tossed here and there by every opinion expressed. Listen carefully. Do your analysis. Decide and stick to your decision.

  2. Be willing to fail forward - Great achievements have been built on the learning experiences of failure. No leader has made significant gains without having first felt the sting of failure. But what they did different than most was embrace that failure as a stepping stone to the future. They got up and kept going.

  3. Don't analyze it to death - There is a time for everything, including moving forward. Some things can stay so long in the thinking stage that they simply die there. Or the time for them passes. Or interest is lost. Or the original vision blurred and put on the back burner. You get the idea. Once you have the essentials, act.

  4. Stand out and stand up for something - If it's an idea worth being out in the world, take a stand for it. Don't be mamby pamby. Stand up and be counted. Cast your vision to any who will listen. As articulately as possible make your point in writing, in person and anywhere it will advance your idea.

  5. Live above the level of mediocrity - Hum drum leadership abounds. Never, never settle for less than your absolute best. Aim for excellence in all you do. If it's really that good, then you have products and initiatives in your head that need to be translated into reality. Ride the wave of excitement in giving life and leadership your best shot.

If we are going to unlock leadership paralysis and practice executive boldness in corporate, government, business or nonprofit, it will have to start with you and me. Now go out and find a Coach and talk about your next (or first) big bold move.

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