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G-Ten On What Separates Leaders From the Rest

GLASGOW, UK, December 2015 – If you’re serious about leadership, serious about being a leader that your team, customers and stakeholders can be proud of, you should understand that it all comes down to how you approach decisions. Leadership is about bringing order to chaos, fighting ambiguity and staying true to your company’s—and your own—principles.

The thing successful leaders have in common is their ability to make difficult decisions quickly and to remove doubts. They take uncertain, amorphous situations and turn them into opportunities. Real leaders are defined by what they do, not who they are.

That runs contrary to a lot of teaching these days. There’s a cottage self-help industry that will tell you how many hours of sleep you need, how much exercise to get or what books to read, but it’s usually a load of crap, peddled by people who have never led anything more than a conga line. 

It’s not that easy. Managing people, selling products and staying innovative requires decision-making, not eight hours of REM sleep. Every company, from startups to the largest corporations, faces ambiguity. Leaders need to decide whom to hire, which customers to target, which products to develop and how to market them. Some of these decisions are life-or-death while some lean toward the mundane. But none are easy. There is rarely a right or wrong outcome. Most choices come with some degree of risk.

Think of the worst CEOs. Almost all their failures came from a hesitancy to make decisions. That means not setting a clear vision for the company, not dropping a customer who was taking up too much time and resources for too little revenue, not responding to new technology or competitors’ innovations, not firing a problem person. Rather than rising to the challenge, such CEOs simply choose inaction.

 

Of course, you could make the wrong decision. But the danger lies more in allowing ambiguity to fester than in the consequences of a poor move. Rather than look at leadership as an all-or-nothing, born-not-made equation, the answer is simpler. Train yourself to recognize chaos and to hate it the way nature abhors a vacuum. It won’t matter if you decide you need a team of great people to tackle a problem, or if you just want to do it yourself. It doesn’t matter if you approach an issue with absolute certainty or with a healthy amount of self-doubt. No one will care if you create a clear communication plan or keep your reasons to yourself. Just make a decision—unambiguously, and without shame or worry.

For additional information, contact a member of the G-Ten administration team at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

G-Ten’s Mission: “Loyalty to our Customers, Results for our Brands”.

 

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