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Hope is Not a Strategy
by Floyd Roberts

I recently heard a business speaker use that line. The next day a comedian was working his audience with leadership wise cracks and commentary while wondering if political leadership was an example of an oxymoron (like airline cuisine!), and adding that ‘Pretty good is no longer good enough!’

That may not sound like the high philosophy of leadership one would expect to explain what makes good leaders. But, leadership often boils down to having the courage to do the right thing. One description pointed out that true leadership looks like 1.) Considering the needs of others first, and 2.) Applying skills and knowledge in an organized and disciplined manner.

While taking a break in northern Wisconsin and Michigan I read an interview with the Chief Executive of the Boy Scouts about the leadership lessons of scouting, from a business perspective. His 98-year-old organization now faces more change and challenges than at any other time in recent history. He identifies bravery as the most important of the 12 different Boy Scout traits because you can’t do the right thing without courage.

He noted that companies need to be proactive and define themselves, or someone else will. That’s practical advice for anyone responsible for running a business or organization, There seems to be a lot being written about leadership these days. And, it is clear that leadership does incorporate much more than just doing things differently.

Michael Staver of the Staver Group shared some interesting observations in a 20-page booklet entitled “Leadership isn’t for Cowards.” He noted that courage is hard to measure. Many executives get into a leadership role and have the sense that they have arrived. That’s the death knell for leadership success. People follow a PERSON, not policies, plans and programs.

What this all means is that ‘Leadership’ is not some state of mind… or magic. And, you might be able to observe local examples taking place as nearby as your closest scout activities. It means confronting people, challenging people and not letting them get away with being less than you know they CAN be. We will always need leaders. Are YOU doing your share?

Floyd Roberts

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