Wednesday, December 21, 2005

The importance of clarity

Comparing leadership for me pre and post MBA means comparing what I experienced in the military with what I now experience in the business world. Before recently, I hadn't given it much thought, but generally felt military leaders were superior. Recently, I began to think about this again. The people I worked with in the military were top caliber, but so are the people I have worked with during two years of consulting engagements at five different companies. Why did the military leaders seem so much more effective? Having already taken ability or skill of the table, there had to be another reason. What I now think is that I perceived the military leaders to be stronger because of the environment they worked in. They had clear goals and clear lines of leadership ... Things that business leaders almost always struggle with. This struggle is largely due to the constant ambiguity resulting from new markets, serving multiple stakeholder and constant powershifts ... Complexities that are taken off the table in the military. However, previous experience seems to indicate that if business leaders could do better around clarity and accountability, they would see a dramatic improvement in their effectivess and their impact on their team. (Note: before anyone lambasts me for saying that it is more difficult to serve a new market than conduct a rescue in 20 foot seas, I'm not. I'm only discussing the different operating environments in terms of accountability and clarity)
Sent from my BlackBerry Wireless Handheld

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