Recently posted quotes:

"There is no distinctly American criminal class - except Congress." Mark Twain (1835-1910)

“Be thankful we're not getting all the government we're paying for.” -Will Rogers (1879-1935)

"Stability in government is essential to national character and to the advantages annexed to it." -James Madison (1751-1836)

"Liberty must at all hazards be supported." -John Adams (1735-1826)

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Leadership - Part 9 – 17 Jun 09 – Better and Efficient

As follow-on to yesterday’s discussion, I would like to briefly comment on “getting better” and how one goes about doing so. Part of that idea of being consistent has to be the effort a leader puts into “getting better”.

Leading an organization indicates that the group is going somewhere; not necessarily geographically, but somewhere other than where they are today. That could be somewhere philosophically, somewhere software wise, somewhere in the direction of new products; but never standing still, so to speak.

Hopefully, the direction the organization is headed is better than where they are today; always better. Maybe a more efficient operation is the only current goal. That’s lofty enough for anybody at any time. But more efficient at what cost, you might ask. Cost is always a relative term and only applies to the here and now. Costs are constantly changing; technology improves, costs come down, competitors go out of business – whatever the case, costs are always changing.

Leaders must never, never be satisfied with the status quo. They must always be looking forward. Sometimes forward is not straight ahead. It is often off on a tangent to the current direction.

Change must be the guiding light, somewhere out there in the future. Hopefully, its not accompanied by a train whistle at the other end of the tunnel; but a beacon out there in the stratosphere of the unknown world of “better”.

Heading down a new course, leaders must consistently be observing and evaluating the process and results. They must be ready to change course when the time is right. Constant changes in course are not always good. The followship may begin to believe the plan is “not up to snuff” and decide to jump ship, at least in believability – this is not good. Constant reinforcement is required. Information becomes king and is deserved by one and all.

Change, for the better, should be one of the organization’s central goals.


  1. A recent twitter post by Shaq, "Successful leadership is measured by influence, not authority." Not sure where he got this from but it sounds pretty good.

  2. I think we differ only in definition here. My authority is related to Shaq's influence as my power is related to Shaq's authority. Authority flows down from a leader in authority he//she passes to subordinates. Power does not flow at all.