Ready, Aim, Fire! [Archives:2003/08/Business & Economy]

February 24 2003

The Road Ahead
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The goal of yesterday will be the starting point of tomorrow. That is true, but putting it into the sense of “should be the starting point of tomorrow” is even truer because it is what you see. There is a difference between what will happen and what should happen. This is because yesterday’s goal hasn’t become the starting point of tomorrow where it should be.
That is the price of incompetence and tolerance of incompetence. Sadly, it is spreading like a disease in our country. I am not referring to government organizations only, but private sector also shares the blame. Most organizations have become too sluggish to take remedial action, even when they face an explosive situation.
The best thing that they do is some short-term solution that leads only to similar situations, especially with this kind of incompetence. How do we expect the goals of yesterday to be the starting point of tomorrow or even a week later?
On the other hand, there are also good leaders who struggle against incompetence in their organizations in order to create win-win situations. In fact, when they can’t get what they want out of their employees, it’s time they should get what they are paid for, i.e. leadership.
Leadership involves more than conducting successful negotiations or people management. It also involves getting the best out of those working with or under you. It is essential for a leader to feel passionately about his work, have tremendous powers of persuasion and be able to delegate work to those who are capable of handling it.
People are a company’s most sustainable competitive advantage, if they have an opportunity to succeed, they will. And if they have clear and easy to understand goals, they will meet them. And if you, as a leader, set the bar high, they should and will raise themselves to meet it in order to succeed.
Success is also a matter of attitude, it’s a matter of what you think you are capable of, and it is a matter of futuristic thinking and planning. People are reluctant to investigate their strengths simply because they do not think much of their own selves. We wonder whether we are as talented as everyone else who sets up a good example for a leader.
However, if we do not invest in ourselves, we will take our strengths, and they are the ones that make us extraordinary. It was never certificates and qualifications that made the leader. It is the natural talent they have and you’ve got to investigate yours.
Remember: If you want to ensure that yesterday’s goals will be the starting point of tomorrow, then invest in yourself, be a leader, fight incompetence and aim before you fire!