Thursday, 5 January 2012

Justifying leadership

A fascinating documentary on King George V on Tuesday. No one would claim George as a great intellect. He was a terrible father heading up a dysfunctional family of benefit scroungers and more interested in shooting books than reading animals. He was, however, an incredibly good leader. Why?

Because despite his obvious flaws he stuck around for ages and no one was able to get rid of him, whether they wanted to or not. Longevity in the face of performance is the key to successful leadership.

His leadership style was based on a sound common sense approach (I can't believe I am writing this shite. Leadership style? He sat in a Palace while others ran the country) and a gut instinct for handling difficult situations such as what to have for dinner. These are, in fact, key leadership attributes. I've often been struck by how important a role instinct plays in making decisions as a CEO. Or to put it another way, blind faith in one's own abilities at the exclusion of what others say if it suits ones own agenda best.

I can point to a number of occasions when the logic or advice I received pointed to a particular decision but I knew it wasn't quite right. Even when it was. Now this is not to suggest you ignore all advice or press ahead regardless but it is to suggest you must be bold , pig headed, brash, pompous, self-righteous and trust your own judgement. Then bluff, blag and bluster when it all goes wrong or let others clear up the mess

Bearing in mind what I have said it would be somewhat ironic if I now commented that I was off to see someone at the Local Government Association and tell them exactly what to do. But you know me, riddled with contradiction. I don't know how I do it, must be pure instinct that I am right. I should be the Pope. In fact if that peerage doesn't come through soon I may try out for the Vatican.

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