Psychology of Leadership – Part 1 (excerpt from my new book to be released in 2012)
Waste is the greatest threat to any team, any organization. Everything other threat is secondary. Wasted time, wasted talent, wasted potential. The psychology of leadership starts with waste management.
Leadership theory is stuck deep in an abyss of myths. Leadership has one primary purpose – waste management. Managing waste builds winners. Winning by any definition on whatever field and in whatever has one objective – earn your money. Give everything you’ve got to those who have invested money into what you’re doing. True winning is emptying the tank, spilling your guts. True winning is not cheating your team, your organization, yourself. True winning is a by-product of a team that refuses to cheat.
Cheating is both a synonym and symptom of waste. Every moment that someone cheats your company, your team, your business, your organization, a fraud is committed. A rip-off. Despite all the pie-in-the-sky fantasies about leadership that have been written and taught, leadership’s top priority is to make sure the exchange rate is at par – maximum return on the investment. There’s the true secret to winning – high investment, higher yield. Maximize the return.
True leadership starts at the top – mindset. A mindset of promising FULL return to investors. Every team, every organization in public or private sector exists solely because of investment – financially, intellectually, emotionally, and physically. With every investment comes expectations. High expectations. Not half-assed expectations, next-level expectations. Leaders exist to protect investment. When investments are protected, growth spreads in abundance. Potential is fully realized, both team and individual. It’s part of the Chain of Events, a stream of outcomes that are guaranteed to happen when investments are protected with heart and soul.
Leadership is not a title. Leadership is not a concept. Leadership is an obligation to not let things slide. You can spend all the money you want on leadership seminars and leadership training but the inescapable fact is if you let things slide, you will be a misleader – an incompetent leader.
I’ve had numerous leadership roles but none taught me more about true leadership than coaching amateur football, where student-athletes have to be developed from scratch. Football is a viscous high-risk activity that has life-and-death consequences. Players can die playing football. Catastrophic injury is real consequence that has to be prevented at all costs. Prevention requires top-level fitness…upper-level training. Full-commitment, no cheating, no waste. Football has a ruthless Darwinian process that will chew up the weak – publicly. On the scoreboard and on the field. It’ll fill up emergency wards. – to be continued