04 October 2005

Tool Or Leader

Allow Me to do basic logic:

Premise A: Ideas are common as dirt, but excellent execution rules.

Premise B: Everything one seeks to achieve in business (or Life) is done solely through and with other people.

Premise C: Excellent execution often involves teamwork, i.e., working with and through other people.

Conclusion: You may have ideas, but unless you deal with the "people problems," you will not achieve excellent execution, a.k.a. success.

The previous exercise emerged from a conversation The Jenius had today with a brilliant mind. However, most of the "obstacles" this brilliant mind sees are merely people problems, the fuzzy world of emotional irrationality that permeates everything We try to do.

See, this brilliant mind works in a world where "A leads to B" and "Y follows X," a tidy world of push-pull, cause-and-effect almost wholly in his control. But in the transition from this orderly, controllable world to the real world, the tools and savvy that make him great at one thing are exactly what keep him from seeing solutions in the real world. In the real world, logic and rationality are worth as much as bat snot. And situations often become as sticky as bat snot, even with the best planning.

Now, My friend knows--feels--that things should be easier, more orderly, better. The reason The Jenius senses this so keenly is because, once in a not-so-distant past, He felt the same. In fact, He was even more adamant about "people problems": He simply avoided them entirely. The Jenius worked alone. The Jenius didn't give bat snot for people problems because people problems were beneath His notice.

And...The Jenius made little progress towards success. (My friend has taken far greater strides in that area, but then again, he is a Genius; that makes a difference.) For if one refuses to deal with people problems, one is merely a tool. And tools are never leaders.

That's the simple Truth. You can either be a tool or a leader. If you want to stop being a tool, being used and used up, then you have no choice but to become a leader... and deal with people problems. Leave the tidy world of one's own making--one's comfort zone--and proceed to discover the myriad challenges of dealing with a veritable blizzard of variables, each one as unique as a snowflake.

Is My friend doomed to remaining a tool? Hell no. He's well on his way to setting a pace for leadership that many will envy. Why? Because he sees the problem and is seeking a solution. Leadership boils down to seeing what's wrong, seeking a solution and communicating the results. My friend is already an excellent communicator; when he starts grappling directly with people problems, he will move smoothly into full leadership roles. And his very ability to question himself will keep his mind open enough to grow far beyond the petty ego state many "leaders" freeze themselves into.

It won't be a smooth road and it won't be fun most of the time. But he will achieve more than the rest of Us who throw up Our hands in despair and complain about "people". Leaders are made: My friend is making himself the kind of leader We always need.

The Jenius Has Spoken.

No comments: