Reflections on Leadership: Leaders Don’t Know What They’re Doing

Weekly Inspiration

Leaders Don’t Know What They’re Doing!

Ok maybe that’s a little harsh. I don’t mean that all leaders are operating without a clue of how to to their job. That would be unfair. Maybe I should have said “leaders figure it out” … that’s more of what I am talking about.

I had a different point of view early in my career when I thought my leaders had it all figured out. I assumed there was some big plan and every step had been meticulously planned out. I thought that ever bump along the road was anticipated and that my leaders had seen it all a million times before. I thought they were experts.

I was wrong.

What I have learned later in life is that great leaders haven’t seen it all before. There is usually a strategy and the outline of a plan but it is not as well-defined as I used to believe it was. Because it can’t be.

In the world we live in today there is too much complexity, too much change and lots of unanticipated events that happen every day. There is no detailed plan that can prepare you for every twist and turn as a leader. Trying to create such a plan is also, in many ways, a waste of time.

What the best leaders are very good at is anticipating a little and reacting a lot. A good leader is a problem solver and is able to quickly consider a large volume of information and make the best decision available to them at the time. This skill is guided by a strong foundation of values, some fundamental knowledge and experience and a winning strategy. It is also enabled by great talent at every turn.

The ability to figure things out in real time is one of the most important skills a leader can have. This will likely mean taking a risk and trying something new. So this skill also requires a solid safety net of humility to catch you when you fall. And fall you will!

If you find that you do know what you are doing and you do have it figured out it is time for a change. Push yourself out of your comfort zone because that is where all the growth happens!

Call to Action: stop worrying that it feels like you don’t know what you are doing and be comforted by the fact that none of us do. Redirect that worry to building solid analytical and problem solving skills and you will be a great leader for life. Even though you really have no idea what you are doing.

About Reflections on Leadership

Reflections on Leadership is my weekly article series reflecting on what it means to be a great leader. I hope that these thoughts can help you with your own leadership development journey.

My mission for Operation Melt is to help you melt away all of the obstacles to achieving your goals, not just your fitness goals. So, helping us all become better leaders is fully aligned with that mission. Maybe this will help achieve the Operation Melt vision…

To create a world where goals never die of loneliness.

Thank you for reading and please feel free to share your perspective on this topic, my Reflections on Leadership series or anything else via a comment on this post, a share on social media or message me directly.

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