Dear Sir: (a plea for help from the Team)

Dear Sir:
We need your help.  We need no vision crafted. A mission statement won’t help us here. We don’t need you to demonstrate heroic fearlessness “standing astride this narrow world like a Colossus”, Sir.  No swashbuckling, chest beating posturing needed. We are self-starters, Sir.  So don’t you worry about getting us engaged and on board. I know that all your leadership manuals (and you do read them, right?) drone on and on about “getting the stakeholders on board” and “getting motivation levels up”.  Your team consists of a bunch of people that actually take pride in what we do and derive great satisfaction when we give a dream legs. Lucky for you, you can use those manuals to prepare another scintillating speech to share at your next Rotary luncheon or when you talk to your mentees at your alma mater.  
Please help us by being clear as to what you want accomplished.  Paint us a picture: “this is what it should feel like, look like, smell like at the end.” Is the picture hazy in your mind, Sir? No problem! Share the part that is clear, the general idea that you have, and allow us to help you complete the end game picture.
It’s easier to fill in the blanks once we know where we’re going. We know you don’t know the shortcuts, the roads that are potholed, the detours…afterall, you don’t travel these roads daily. But we do! Once you tell us where we need to go to, WE can tell you the best way to get there.  Why don’t you make it easy for yourself and less frustrating for us by simply saying: “Team: we need to get to Mobay in 2 1/2 hours.” WE KNOW HOW TO DO THIS! WE DO THIS EVERYDAY! Please don’t say: “go over Sligoville, then turn right at Bog Walk, then use the new highway to by pass Mt. Rosser…when you come to the end of the highway, call me and tell me what time it is.”  Am I coming through clear, Sir? Allow us to do our jobs, to participate, to use our experience and our knowledge to give your dreams and your aspirations wings. Please.
I have been frank and I sincerely hope you receive this in the spirit in which it was given. 
Best regards,

The L Word…not Love, but Leadership.

Like the other L word, this one means different things to different people.  But I think it is safe to say that one question sums it up in a universal way: “Who’s in charge here?”.   Leadership is a field of study all on its own.  Numerous tomes have been written on the subject, everyone has an opinion on it and it is often blamed when things don’t turn out as planned.

I’d like to weigh in with my own thoughts on the topic.
I believe that leadership can move mountains.
I believe that more people are comfortable being lead than are comfortable being leaders.
I believe that there is most definitely a role for someone to define and articulate a vision and get a team       on board to make that vision a reality.
I believe that a good Leader ought to ensure buy in from stakeholders
I believe that there is a role for a final decision maker.  I believe that a single person ought to be held accountable for the final outcome.
I believe that the role of the Leader is to facilitate constructive conflict and then allow the best ideas to prevail
I believe that the Leader ought to coordinate execution activities
I believe that the Leader ought to encourage and deliberately seek to build Leadership among the team of followers

That being said, I also believe that there are some character and personality traits that are common to effective leaders:
Mental agility
Articulate by nature
Understander of human nature
Open minded
Good listener
Unafraid of confrontation
Good negotiator

Imagine an organization where conflict is encouraged, allowing innovation to flourish…
Imagine an organization where your boss can integrate information quickly and articulate an end game that both challenges and inspires… Imagine an organization where all personality types feel as if they are really part of the team… Imagine an organization where decisions are made in a transparent manner in the best interest of the organisation, sooner rather than later….

Now just re-read the few sentences above, putting “Jamaica” where “Organisation” is…
We can do better.