The road to hell is paved with good intentions, a thought that has often crossed my mind on many instances in my roles spanning my career.
I have written in the past about balance and about how anything that loses a semblance of balance and tips in either direction can be bad both for the organisation and for the career of the person in question.
Excessively passionate leaders can derail everything from strategic plans to morale of their teams. Which is where well-balanced leaders tend to be more sustainable long term and the world needs more of those.
I also remember a conversation where I was told the CEO who takes an organisation to its first 100 crores isn’t the same one who will take it to 500 or 1000… Personal intent does not drive business outcomes, this needs collaborative leadership intent which is then a shared responsibility and vision. Change is the only constant and we have seen how leaders who do not adapt to change, crash and burn.
Intent cannot be unidimensional and often, people make the mistake of making everything about themselves and their interest and passion and get blindsided with this focus on the self. Our work relationships must be business and organisation focused and should also reflect the culture the organisation is trying to drive. Often, leaders who want to pave their own way on their own terms get left behind and then, they do not understand why.
Effective leadership needs a lot more than good intent. Let me share some imperatives according to me that are needed to be an effective leader:
Awareness of the business, of the team and of the self and how it all fits together
Respect for peers, teams and the culture and vision of the organisation
Ability to drive results without desire for power
Accountability, responsibility and ownership
The ability to fail fast and learn fast and implement the learnings for growth
Acceptance of threats, limitations and self-actualisation and understanding of personality
Ability to understand, accept and manage change both for the self and for the team
The drive to move forward and let go of things that are not relevant
Teamwork and collaborative approaches
A solution-driven outlook
The ability to differentiate the personal and professional
Conflict management and resolution across all levels
Not being defensive or taking offense easily
Being able to grasp the wider view or vision and translate that into self-role and goals
A lot of times what we think and believe is right may not always be so in context of the larger picture, which is where team work comes into play and so does brainstorming and spending time understanding other perspectives can help.
Any organisation is a sum total of the people, the business itself, the culture and so much more
Good intent can be detrimental if it is not aligned to the outcomes that the business and teams want to drive collectively. A lot of this depends on values, value systems and culture rather than systems and processes.
A lot can be done with good intent for sure, but it has to be aligned to a lot more than just wanting the best for the organisation.
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