Leadership – It’s a marathon not a sprint
One of the toughest balancing acts facing leaders at all levels is the need to deliver short-term results versus the leadership activities that will help sustain and increase those results over the longer term. For example:
- How often do you have to put managing vision and purpose to one side while you focus on delivering this quarter’s results?
- How often do you have to put planning to one side while you focus on delivering this quarter’s results?
- How often do you have to put developing your staff to one side while you focus on delivering this quarter’s results?
I’m sure it happens far more often than we would like. Leaders are judged by the results they deliver and the need to deliver those results overrides everything else. However, the best leaders have learnt that activities like managing vision and purpose, planning and staff development (and there are plenty more leadership activities that get put to the side) are the route to delivering long-term, sustainable results.
- If the vision and purpose are clear and kept in the foreground, your people will be focused on the right things each and every day.
- If you have sound plans with appropriate contingencies, your people will be able to execute those plans.
- If the capability of your staff is continuously being enhanced, they will be able to deliver better results in the future.
The reality is that the most effective leaders will find the balance between long-term perspective and short-term delivery. Both are important. The ability to play the long game while being sufficiently agile to put in short bursts of speed when necessary.
We all know the story of the tortoise and the hare – and look who won that race!
See you at the top