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Strategic Leadership And Repentance
And of the children of Issachar, which were men that had understanding of the times, to know what Israel ought to do; the heads of them were two hundred; and all their brethren were at their commandment. – I Chronicles 12:32
Everyone is potentially a leader, but it takes a little more than innate qualities to make a great leader. We were all born with the seed of leadership in us. However, the degree to which we discover our leadership platform and deliberately cultivate it will determine how successful we become in life. Even if they are not currently occupying any leadership position, people who are deliberately guided by the repentance principle will invariably lead a team. It’s a given! No one climbs the ladder of success with his hands in his pocket. Strategy is central to success in any endeavour in life. People do not fail. It is strategies and implementation that fail. The leader that will steer an organisation towards effectiveness must be strategic in thinking and action.
Repentance is a word commonly used in Christianity to signify remorse, contrition, or penitence. In the Christian faith, repentance is God’s strategy for putting man back on track regarding his original destiny in God. It signifies a turnaround from an unprofitable or unedifying position to the ideal. What has this got to do with leadership? Everything. I have used the word here as a way of describing the strategic turnaround leader. The leader that will strategically steer the organisation from an undesirable state to a safe haven must live by the standards of the acronym R.E.P.E.N.T.A.N.C.E.
To be significantly successful, the strategic leader must recognize. Recognition involves knowing not only the task to carry out but understanding the purpose. This involves a clear definition of the desired destination. Vision is the compass of strategy. For the turnaround leader, vision, not problems, must set the agenda that drives every activity in the organisation. The strategic leader is therefore destination-oriented. Efficiency designs strategy around structure but effectiveness designs it around Vision. Why? Problems are indicative of present areas of challenge or defeat. For this simple reason, problems are unlikely to provide much-needed motivation for achievement in the same way that a compelling vision would. As scriptures indicate, without a vision, people cast off all sense of restraint. Without recognition, movement in any direction leads to weariness and drudgery.
Recognition helps focus. When you know what you are called to do or have identified your core competence, you know instinctively what you should not be spending time on. This helps to channel energies in the appropriate result-oriented direction. Without recognition, efforts and resources are dissipated. Recognition also helps the leader to know what types of people are needed on his team and the resources required to attract and retain them.
The next thing the turnaround leader must regularly do is evaluate.
The exercise of evaluation must first be self-directed and benchmarked against the guiding vision. A leader must be able to reflect in himself the qualities he intends to see in others. So the leader must be more ruthless with himself as the standard bearer to the rest of his team. The leader must also develop appropriate framework for measuring progress within his team. This is an ongoing process in strategic leadership. It constantly questions the process of getting to the destination by asking pertinent questions viz: Where are we in relation to where we desire to be? What got us here? What are we doing right? What needs to change? What structures serve our purpose? What needs to be added and what needs to be jettisoned? Great leaders do not wait for external stimuli before they analyse themselves and those they lead in relation to the desired destination. This involves a S.W.O.T (strength, weaknesses, opportunities, threats) analysis. It is needless delegating what you have no intention of supervising or at least inspecting for compliance. Without constant evaluation, progress becomes wishful thinking. True progress is a deliberate, calculated series of moves in the direction of a given destination.
With evaluation, the leader and his team can avoid repeating costly errors.
How regularly should evaluation be done? On the individual level, a leader should daily ask himself if he did all he could the previous day and in what specific areas he could improve today. At the very worst, such personal evaluation should be done weekly. The parameters should include adherence to the vision, high points, low points and his response to these, the way he managed relationships, as well as feedbacks from the team. For the team, each member should be encouraged to evaluate himself weekly in anticipation of a corporate evaluation which should be scheduled as a monthly exercise. Where necessary, individuals on the team may need to be given specific attention depending on the issues they struggle with on the job. Properly done, evaluation helps the leader and the team to know what behaviours to reinforce in the team and what to discourage. Moreover, it ensures that the leader has less need to explain his actions because more often than not, they would have been properly thought out... To becontinued
Remember, the sky is not your limit, God isShare