Wherever I go in the world I love to search out the local bread, from baguettes in France to bagels in New York, and bazlama in Turkey.
Breads vary around the world but most contain the same core ingredients of flour, water, yeast and salt. Similarly, leadership varies according to the environment and requirements of the organisation (see 10 styles of leader) but like bread, there are some essential core ingredients all leaders should possess:
Own the Vision – only the leader can generate and communicate the organisation’s vision. Too many leaders rely on consensus, consultants or simply delay committing to a single guiding purpose that will galvanise their people.
Implement the Strategy – it’s tempting to spend months researching, testing and designing a strategy but none of this actually achieves anything. It’s only when the plan becomes action that results can be realised.
Take Decisions – as recent political events have demonstrated, a leader can have many faults but if they are willing to make hard choices they will gain followers. If a leader is procrastinating it’s a sign that they don’t understand, believe in or truly own their vision and plan. By all means take soundings and seek consensus, but as leader you must be the one to cast the deciding vote. Often any decision, even the wrong decision, is better than no decision. – Ben Horowitz