I have often struggled to find convincing answers or a magic formula for what makes companies operating under similar circumstances, in the same verticals, identical markets, same starting point, you get the idea… end up 180 degrees apart, heading different directions, with nothing in the way to stop them. Now that I have you thinking of at least a few, you are probably saying to yourself that it is obviously the usual suspects (fill the blanks). The one intangible I keep coming back to is the person at the very top of the pyramid- the leader who sets the course months, sometimes years before the first employee is even hired. Like infants when they are born, companies thrive on their internal culture, sowed by leadersip. It is that culture, properly cultivated, that will lead to greatness. Just like the mind of an infant, filled with negativity, it will lead to mediocrity, at best.
Many books have been written about leadership, great leaders, and mediocre ones. I have, instead, chosen to share with you some real life scenarios of good and bad examples of leadership, from exisiting and long gone organizations. I am certain that these next few posts will enact a sense of deja vu for most of you. You will see that lack of leadership is often the common denominator for great plans, strategies, and companies that struggle, and in some cases vanish.
The first of this upcoming series is about Superficial Leadersip. Feel free to comment.
Diaclaimer: I have come across some great articles a few years ago that I kept, and have since made them required readings every so often. Most were from a series of articles by The Economist magazine. The next few blogs will contain some of those articles. Dates are unavailable.