Welcome to the Leadership Matters blog!
This is my first post, so I thought I’d talk about what I hope to accomplish here with you. Simply put, I hope to have a conversation with you on leadership. If you’re reading this, chances are that you share my interest in leadership. Developing leadership in others (and myself) has been a part of my work for a long time, and my SOLE focus since 1992, including the 15 years I have been running the Saratoga Resource Group LLC, a leadership consulting firm.
No one can claim to know it all on leadership. There’s room in the topic for all sorts of approaches and ideas. I hope to exchange thoughts on leadership with you in a lively discussion on this blog.
Let’s begin with the title of the blog: Leadership Matters.
I chose it because it has two meanings: first, the topic of the blog will be “leadership matters”; that one is easy. Secondly, however, it makes an important statement that I feel passionately about and thought should go in my very first blog: leadership really DOES matter!
Why not? Because leaders set the vision for the organization, and then lead others in pursuit of that vision. That is a basic, fundamental, and critical part of leadership.
Some organizations have what I call “honorary leaders”.
Although they enjoy the rewards and benefits of leadership, they are not really leaders. Others work around them, and usually someone else provides the leadership for them. Chances are they got the position in the first place because someone wanted to give them a bigger job and a bigger paycheck. So they became a “leader”.
Perhaps the organization promoted them into that honorary leadership role from an individual contributor role. They were probably very good in that individual job. That may be why they the organization offered them the leadership position to begin with. Now, however, they are not as good at leadership, perhaps because they never learned HOW to be a leader. In addition, perhaps no one ever TOLD them that it was important to learn how to be a leader. In this scenario the organization has lost twice: they (1) lost a good individual contributor, and (2) created a poor leader at the same time, jeopardizing their success.