A co-worker just shared a great quote with me that I couldn’t resist but share. It’s one that I enjoyed so much that I believe I might have to get my hands on the book that it came from so that I can read more from the writer. “Great leaders always seem to embody two seemingly disparate qualities. They are both visionary and highly practical.” Thank you John Maxwell for including such a powerful statement in your book The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership: Follow Them and People Will Follow You.
Mr. Maxwell goes on to point out that for great leaders “their vision enables them to see beyond the immediate. They can envision what’s coming and what must be done.” These leaders see the big picture and keep an eye on the horizon as the picture is always expanding. From past experiences I’ve found that managers who keep their blinders on are only setting themselves up for failure in multiple ways. When you look at the larger picture you’re able to anticipate problems that could arise and trouble shoot them before they are actual problems. This allows you to be a proactive leader instead of a reactive one.
Later in the same section, Mr. Maxwell shares that “leaders are practical enough to know that vision with-out action achieves nothing. They make themselves responsible for helping their followers take action.” It was interesting to hear the co-worker who introduced me to this author talk about having managers that don’t do anything when you bring situations to their attention. I’ve always had trouble understanding how this is a tactic that managers find to be successful, but I’ve heard the complaint often so there must be many who gravitate to it. I will warn you now, not only does it upset those who work for you but it also creates more work for you down the road as issues will just keep piling up.
I believe strongly that the only way to stay ahead of the curve is to continue growing in a leadership capacity and that’s something John Maxwell talks about as well. His law of progress is all about a leader developing daily and not just overnight. That in itself is enough to motivate me to get my hands on the book. For you fellow managers who are looking to keep improving as well, join me in adding this terrific discovery to your reading list sooner rather than later.