When asked, “What is the job of a leader?” the standard response is to, “Get things done through other people.” Sounds simple, right? But there is much more that goes into getting things done through people. In fact, getting things done through other people is the result of what I believe is the real job of a leader.
The real job of a leader is to develop other people – their team – to successfully execute the vision they have set for their organization; whether it be a free-standing organization, a department within a larger firm or a small business. Simply stated, the job of a leader is to have the right people with the right skills in the right roles at the right time. Yet, despite its simplicity, developing people still does not get the attention it should on many so-called leaders’ radars.
The reason it is not that high on some radars is due to the fact that these leaders, while dedicated to the roles they fill, allow themselves to be pulled on to what I call the “merry-go-round” of distractions and busy work that fools them into actually believing that they are doing the right things.
The sad fact is that their right things are the wrong things in most cases. They lack focus on what their vision is (if they have a vision), they lack focus on what is the best use of their skills, and they lack focus on the best use of the time they have available to them each day, month, quarter or year. They are constantly creating unrealistic demands on their time so that others see how hard they are working in hopes that it will motivate others to work just as hard. They call this leadership by example. I call it leadership by “bad example.”
If you’re interested in becoming the best leader you can in order to do the best job for your team and your company, first find your focus. Focus is the path to your success.