There have never been more books, blogs, articles, tweets, white papers, PDFs, posts, columns, videos, Ted talks, keynote speeches, workshops, webinars, podcasts, seminars, retreats, and courses on leadership.
Yet most people are unhappy with their job and even fewer are engaged in their work.
There are many fine definitions about what excellence in leadership means, but it’s a pretty safe bet common themes include unity, teamwork, high performance, and happiness or fulfillment.
True leadership—in any context—is helping people reach their full potential while accomplishing important work together.
There, I said it.
Leadership is building great people!
So, given that 62,000 bits on leadership are published every moment, knowledge must be all that is needed to build great people. Right?
Otherwise two-thirds of the American workforce would not be going home each night with a ton of left over energy and thankful to be getting away from a job they can’t afford to lose—but either dislike or are ambivalent about. It’s how we all feel about, say—proctology exams.
That’s it. Perfect metaphor:
Nurse: “Did you find your proctology exam to be inspiring, meaningful, and personally fulfilling?”
Patient: “Well, I would say it is something I know I needed, and it was definitely personal, but in all candor—and I don’t want to hurt the Doctor’s feelings because he seemed intent on being so thorough—I would have rather been doing something else.”
THE Core Competency
Unless your business is run by robots and staffed with drones—much like the DMV (with apologies to the thirteen nice, friendly, caring, helpful DMV employees scattered across the US)—you and every other business on the planet have one thing in common—people!
No matter what else you do, if you want to be best in the world at something you better first be best in the world at building great people.
“We build great people, who then build great products and services.” –Jack Welch