The Hard Costs of a Leadership #Fail
What is your hard cost when your leaders fail to lead?
By Gary Patterson, CPA, Firestorm Expert Council Member, Author (and currently annoyed football fan)
Facing this fact may be hard for some to digest, however it’s time to face a business reality too many professionals overlook. And, I would like to demonstrate how the consequences can be death blow to your department or organization.
Here’s a sports analogy to help deliver my point: For my Stanford Cardinal football team, the cost of quarterback Josh Nunes NOT leading was losing to the University of Washington 17-13. Stanford’s defense was exceptional and talent was there at most positions. Plus, Washington’s offensive line was devastated from injuries. But, a total of only 10 first downs of offense does not win football games, even when no material mistakes are major.
Josh Nunes failure to lead produced 3 consequences (a) dropping out of the top 10 football ranking, (b) likely losing their chance for the conference championship, and (c) human capital loss of confidence from some of the key prospects they were recruiting.
So, with this example you can clearly see how a failure to lead can produce a devastating steamroller effect. Now, let’s take a look at your organization where you may recognize a failure to lead causing unwanted consequences, either today or in the long term:
(1) How much scenario planning have you completed on enterprise level issues which are reasonably likely to occur this year? (Stanford knew their quarterback would play his first on the road game in a noisy stadium with a hungry, motivated, underrated opponent.)
(2) How deep is your human capital bench and how well trained are they? (Neither Nunes or the 2 quarterbacks he beat out for the starting position had any meaningful college level game experience.)
(3) Where is your organization playing too conservatively? Playing not to lose often causes losses to an opponent that is playing to win and taking risks. Many organizations do not know their fiscal balance strengths and weaknesses well enough to take aggressive risks. (Stanford supposedly picked Nunes as the starter for his ability to minimize mistakes.)
Now, go back and see how these same 3 key issues might apply, not just to your organization, but also to you as a leader.
My top producing clients find that everyone has fiscal and leadership issues — which may require change. The key is to identify and acknowledge those opportunities and risks IN TIME in order to reallocate necessary resources of people, money, and capacity to exploit opportunities or manage risks.
Here’s where these leadership issues get a little sticky… In addition to the identifying and acknowledging aspects, both C-level executives and trusted advisors are telling me there is a growing hesitancy for members of the C-level team to tell the truth about concerns or even potential 800-pound gorilla issues. Call it (a) shoot the messenger, (b) overworked executives, or (c) the political costs of being the traffic cop often in a world where good
jobs are hard to find.
In order to sort out these issues in your organization, perspective is the key to your success. And, that perspective can come from an unbiased source dedicated to your success.
Talk to me in the comments of this article. A few minutes invested in exploring the subject might help you avoid those mistakes that make you look bad in the future. Or we can talk Josh Nunes.