Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Leadership without impulse

Point: Impulsive and unpredictable are some leader's styles. Such keeps managers -- who revere plans -- off guard and even defensive, but it wreaks havoc on strategy (ever changing) and metrics (rebaselining at every turn).

Of course, your competitors may also be constantly off guard. In some businesses (start-ups, sports) and some military situations (See: General George Patton), "impulsive and unpredictable" is a great offense.

[Leadership] .. comprises a number of moral qualities among which may be mentioned: force;initiative; determination; a strong sense of justice; loyalty, to both superiors and subordinates; good judgment; generosity; self-possession; energy; decision.

The qualities of leadership inspire loyalty in one's subordinates; and this loyalty, accompanied by confidence in the [leader's] professional ability, gives [the leader] such an enthusiastic support from them that [the leader] is, in times of crisis, able to demand and accomplish what might appear to be the impossible.

History abounds with instances where great leaders have inspired such confidence and enthusiasm .... It requires both the moral qualities and the brains and knowledge to make a great leader. Both may be improved by application, study and reflection.

Raymond Spruance
Admiral, US Navy
Force commander at the Battle of Midway, June 1942


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