Quality leadership often appears to be a lost art. We observe fewer and fewer leaders who seem to emphasize the essential basics of being an effective and productive leader, preferring to simply be caretakers of some leadership position. It often becomes apparent to professional leadership consultants and trainers, when they observe how difficult it seems to be to find someone willing to commit to making necessary decisions on a timely basis. Those that merely ascend to leadership positions, without the necessary qualifications, skills, abilities, and/ or commitment to excel, never become true and effective leaders. Marabel Morgan concisely explained this phenomenon when she wrote, “Persistence is the twin sister of excellence. One is a matter of quality, the other a matter of time.”
1. Not only is it necessary for a leader to act in a timely manner, but it is imperative that they persist, even when tasks may become challenging or difficult. A true leader can ill afford to merely avoid doing what may be difficult or even someone distasteful. They must commit to expanding their comfort zone to do things beyond what makes them feel personally comfortable, sometimes even sacrificing their preferential way of doing something in order to achieve a needed accomplishment. Leaders must continue their pursuit of excellence in everything they do, refusing to settle for less than their best or optimum behavior and/ or actions. Leaders provide value and quality, and without an organized and persistent approach, rarely accomplish all that is needed. In my well over three decades of working closely with leaders and potential leaders, I have discovered that merely having intelligence and/ or talent is not enough – it is the effort and persistence to continue when others give up that often makes the difference.
2. Procrastination is almost always the enemy of effective leadership. One can never do what’s best for his organization if he refuses to take action, and most often, in a timely, informed manner. Those in leadership who do not act in a timely manner are not performing as genuine leaders, because one can never be considered a leader if he doesn’t act when necessary. I often refer to this syndrome of procrastinating and avoiding action as custodial leadership, because the individual is merely holding down a position, but not looking ahead to what is needed for the organization to thrive in the future.
Quality and timeliness must go hand in hand to assure optimum and effective leadership. You are not a leader if you are fearful, lack the confidence, or simply are unwilling and/ or unable to act in a timely manner that benefits your organization!