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Thursday’s Thought: Leaders Wanted

There must be a hundreds of thousands of leadership books and publications help us to do a better job at leading ourselves, our teams and organizations. I have my favorites that I have shared many times over with people I have mentored or coached throughout my career.

Last week, I was thinking about how come there are no real leadership books or publications that focus on the overall governmental leadership. We all elect folks to take on leadership roles within government but we don’t really see them in leadership roles before hand. The very first opportunity to have someone that was a “leader” in business was elected as our President. Many people have discussed with me that they felt since he was successful in business maybe this is a welcome change to the status quo.

Now, that over 6 months on the job and we have witnessed the overall performance to date… Is there leadership in government? Can a true leader really lead our government?

I don’t want this to be a performance piece on any one individual. I want to understand what is it that we need to truly lead within government?

If we look at what makes a super successful leader in business – can those characteristics work in government?

  • Strategic thinking: Understanding where you are and where you want to go! Need to work out the critical milestones between then and now. Make the work happen.
  • Planning: It is so easy to just sit and think about what you want to do… But planning is critical to really making it happen. Some would say that you can pass on the project planning to someone else, but we really understand that a true leader has a pulse on planning as well.
  • Communication: Being able to communicate effectively. Providing the details as the why, what and how to make sure that those that are following are making sure the plan and milestones happen. Takes a certain individual with charisma to get everyone on board. They have to have that it factor. Being able to tell a story with their values and emotion. Inspiring those that are following (and not following) to want to do the work.
  • Being real: To insure that the team or organization is functioning properly, the leader must be able to understand or at the very least be able to listen to the folks that are making the leaders vision/plan possible. Nothing worse than someone that thinks they know everything and projects their superiority to those that are supposed to follow.

Maybe elected government positions done need this. Maybe those elected will always just be the popular choices rather than the effective choices. They told you the words that you needed to hear. You got fired up and made your choice. When the rubber meets the road, they just were not the best choice.

Would someone that really has the super leader characteristics really want to be in an elected government role? Would we as voters really be able to vote that person in, if the opportunity arises in the future?

If there are some books or anything out there that you know of – please share the Title or location. I really want to learn!

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