The 7 Responsibilities of LeadershipYour First Responsibility: Set and Achieve Business Goals
The number-one reason for business and executive failure is the inability to achieve the sales, growth, and profitability goals for which the leader is responsible. Setting and achieving business goals embraces every part of strategic and market planning, including products, services, people, productivity, promotion, finances, and competitive responses.The Second Responsibility of Leadership: Innovate and Market
As Peter Drucker said, the purpose of a business is to ‘‘create and keep a customer.’’
Only through continuous innovation of products, services, processes, and promotional methods can companies create and keep customers. As Bruce Henderson of the Boston Consulting Group wrote, ‘‘All strategic planning is market planning.’’The Third Responsibility of Leadership: Solve Problems and Make Decisions
Remember, a goal unachieved is merely a problem unsolved. A sales target unachieved is a problem unsolved. The only obstacles that stand between you and the business success you desire are problems, difficulties, hindrances, and barriers. Your ability to go over, under, or around these problems is central to your success.The Fourth Responsibility of Leadership: Set Priorities and Focus on Key Tasks
One of the most important jobs you do is to deploy limited resources, especially of people and money, into those areas where they can make the greatest contribution to the success of the enterprise.
The law of the excluded alternative says, ‘‘Doing one thing means not doing something else.’’
Time is your scarcest resource. It is limited, perishable, irretrievable, and irreplaceable. The way you allocate your time can be the critical determinant of everything you achieve—or fail to achieve.The Fifth Responsibility of Leadership: Be a Role Model to Others
Albert Schweitzer once wrote, ‘‘You must teach men at the school of example, for they will learn at no other.’’
Throughout the ages, the example that you establish in your character, attitude, personality, and work habits, and especially the way you treat other people, sets the tone for your department or organization.
You do not raise morale in an organization; it always filters down from the top. There are no bad soldiers under a good general.
One of the great questions for you to continually ask yourself is, ‘‘What kind of a company would my company be if everyone in it was just like me?’’
Marshall Goldsmith, top executive coach for senior executives in the Fortune 1000, has demonstrated over the years that a single change in a behavioral characteristic of a key executive can cause a positive multiplier effect that impacts the behavior of an enormous number of people.
Leaders conduct themselves as though everyone is watching, even when no one is watching.The Sixth Responsibility of Leadership: Persuade, Inspire, and Motivate Others to Follow You
Tom Peters said that the best leaders don’t create followers, they create leaders. It’s true that you want your people to have initiative and the liberty to act on that initiative. But all initiatives must be in the support and service of what you are trying to achieve as a leader.
If people aren’t following you, you are not a leader. If no one is listening to you, believes you, or cares what you say, you are not going to succeed. If people are only going through the motions to earn a paycheck, the greatest business strategy in the world will fail.
You must motivate others to follow your vision, to support and achieve the goals and objectives that you have set, to buy into the mission of the organization as you see it. Today, getting others to follow you takes more than command and control. You have to earn their trust, respect, and confidence. That is the key to sustainable success as a leader.The Seventh Responsibility of Leadership: Perform and Get Results
In the final analysis, your ability to get the results that are expected of you is the critical factor that determines your success.
My book, How the Best Leaders Lead, will show you a series of simple, proven, practical methods and techniques used by top executives and business owners everywhere to get better, faster, and more predictable results in any business or organization or in any economic situation.