“Management is doing things right; leadership is doing the right things” -- Peter Drucker
This quote sums up so much of what I believe to be true about leadership. The art of leadership involves much more than execution. It takes you far deeper than management, it calls upon your feel for what is right, but most importantly, it demands responsibility - a steadfast ownership of the values that define you and the actions you take.
This sense of responsibility is one of the most important but often misunderstood dimensions to inspired leadership. Without responsibility neither you nor the people you are charged with leading have a true compass that guides actions and decision making.
What does responsible leadership entail? Here’s my starter list:
- Responsible leaders are responsible for establishing the atmosphere for the office or company they are asked to lead
- Responsible leaders establish the ethical boundaries and understanding of integrity within their organizations by their own actions, not their words. Leaders don’t say one thing and do another.
- Responsible leaders model respect for colleagues and customers
- Responsible leaders establish and constantly reinforce standards of performance – for their agents, employees and themselves
- Responsible leaders encourage creativity and innovation among their agents and employees while ensuring that these energies remain consistent with the larger goals of the organization
- Responsible leaders provide direction to agents and employees that have drifted from the organization’s strategic direction and culture
- Responsible leaders recognize that it is from themselves that most is expected
Are you ready for that? If you desire a position of leadership, understand that you must be prepared for responsibility and a commitment to find, in Drucker’s words, the right things in everything you do.