Posted on September 23, 2013
I read this in an article in USA this morning about Leading from behind.
“Don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying that being a fast follower isn’t a common business strategy or that leading from behind isn’t a viable foreign policy doctrine. They’re perfectly reasonable for leaders who, for whatever reason, aren’t very good at what they do.
The most important function of any leader – whether you’re running a company or a country – is to come up with a winning strategy. The key word here isn’t “strategy,” it’s “winning.” Anyone can come up with an idea, a product, a plan. What separates great leaders from the pack is consistently coming up with winning ones.
Look at it this way. When you see a doctor, do you want someone who just practices medicine, or do you want a professional who will come up with the right diagnosis or perform a successful procedure?
Do you hire an attorney to draft any old contract or just fumble around in court or do you want one to come up with an airtight agreement and be a winning litigator?
Do you contract a builder who uses antiquated techniques or one with state-of-the-industry knowledge, capability, and tools?
It’s the same with leaders. Anyone can try to lead. Believe me, all sorts of losers do. But the definition of a leader who isn’t very effective at his job is one who can’t come up with a winning strategy, so he follows close behind someone who can.
The job of every CEO and business leader is to come up with strategies and plans that beat the competition. The great ones do. They innovate. They lead. They execute. And they win. The poor ones don’t. They follow. They fall further and further behind. And ultimately, they lose. Trust me, the latter result is never by choice. Never.”