Are You a “Bold” Leader?
This article was originally published as a part of the series titled “Just A Thought”
What makes a ‘bold’ leader’? I think a lot of times ‘bold’ is confused with ‘loud’ or ‘charismatic’. Is good leadership ‘loud’? Sometimes, but often it is quiet, even very quiet. Is good leadership ‘charismatic’? Sometimes, but not in the Built to Last companies reported in the book of the same title by Collins and Porras.
I think a better definition is to say that ‘bold’ leadership combines these three abilities… 1) To discern “the right ideas” (those ‘2x’ ideas that are more powerful than labor, that once released can no longer be contained), 2) To create “the right structures” (systems ‘perfectly designed’ to empower people who, given the opportunity, will rise to do something together than can’t be done alone), and 3) To empower “the right people” (wooing people who get the ‘right’ things done, like those described in Peter Drucker’s book, The Effective Executive). ‘Bold’ is not what you say, or even how well you say it. Andrew Carnegie said, “The older I get the less I listen to what people say. I just watch what they do.” I’m there… Are you? Instead, ‘bold’ is having the courage to find the right ideas, the right structures, and the right people; and then stick with it for a very long time. Perhaps we shouldn’t even attach the word ‘bold’ to a leader until earned by 20 or more years of humble service.
© 2002 Patrick M. Morley. All rights reserved. This article may be reproduced for any non-commercial use with proper attribution.