By Andy Weddington
Tuesday, 13 May 2014
"If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader." John Quincy Adams
Schools of thought, traits, principles, approaches, methods, techniques, and styles abound. Accordingly, so do books on leadership.
To lead is simple.
If only what?
If only to simplify.
Years ago a friend, who at the time was a well-compensated business executive, sent me something that included a few sentences tag line about leadership. As I recall, it was at the bottom of letterhead but that matters not. What I remember is it was vague and missing something - action.
So, I sent him a concise philosophy for action (crafted decades ago) using LEAD as acronym and reminder.
L - Look / Listen / Learn (see and hear what is going on; improve)
E - Example / Engage / Enable (set example in thought, word and deed; participate; enable subordinates to follow and lead)
A - Act / Approve / Applaud (take responsibility; approve direction; applaud successes)
D - Decisive / Decorate / Discipline (make decisions; decorate publicly; discipline privately)
Leadership is action.
LEAD. Easy to remember. Straightforward. But not so easy to perform.
And success requires character, morals, principles, ethics, integrity, honor, trustworthiness and effort. Without those traits, and more, to LEAD is impossible.
With ex-Cabinet member Timothy Geithner recently revealing he was pressed to deceive (he's not the first - ex or still serving), mulling over LEAD as applied to President Obama and his Administration...
L - Lie
E - Evade
A - Assail
D - Deny
And so goes "leading" from behind. And not leading at all.
That's not the way it's supposed to be from the White House. But that's the way it is.
That alibi and top cover is a pigment but not of our imagination is, ironically, black and white and un-American. Straight skinny.
Quite the chasm between the opening thought of John Quincy Adams, Sixth President of the United States, and the antithetic performance of Barrack Hussein Obama (and his acolytes), Forty-Fourth President. Fact.
Secured, in a word, is President Obama's two-term legacy: MisLEAD. Truth.
Marine officers eat last; figuratively, and literally - the only time to lead from behind.