The leadership imperative

The purpose of this posting is to highlight one fundamental, distinguishing characteristic of successful leaders.

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A lot has been written over the years regarding the subject of leadership. I won’t review the material here other than to say there are lots of good references, including “The Leadership Challenge” by Kouzes and Posner, as well as chapter 6 of my book “Beat the Odds: Avoid Corporate Death and Build a Resilient Enterprise.”

The purpose of this posting is to highlight one fundamental, distinguishing characteristic of successful leaders.

This subject came to mind recently during a conversation I was having with a client of our firm. During the course of that conversation, which touched on a variety of subjects including leadership and management, an old chart came to mind. In fact, the origins of that chart pre-date PowerPoint, to give you some perspective. The chart succinctly summarizes what we all know implicitly, but too often forget.

The message is simple, and stands on its own without the need for further commentary:

Visions are good. Objectives are good. Strategies and plans are good. Teams are good. Studies are good. Consensus is good.

Skills and competencies are very good. Thinking is also very good.

But, only DOING the right things adds value.

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About the Author

Patrick Burnson, Executive Editor
Patrick Burnson is executive editor for Logistics Management and Supply Chain Management Review magazines and web sites. Patrick is a widely-published writer and editor who has spent most of his career covering international trade, global logistics, and supply chain management. He lives and works in San Francisco, providing readers with a Pacific Rim perspective on industry trends and forecasts. You can reach him directly at [email protected]

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