Leadership is Usually in the Details

Leaders need to influence how people think. That’s where they make their greatest contribution. Often that happens by painting a vision of what the future can look like if they think differently. That’s the exciting and sexy part of leadership.

However, behind the creation and articulation of a compelling vision is a mountain of detailed work. The business leader meets with a wide range of people and observes situations for a long time before the vision crystallizes. Then there are the details of building relationships with key people in order to gain the support necessary to make the vision a reality. Then the leader has to think through what he or she will do in order to influence how other people will think.

I recommend the book “The Autobiography of Martin Luther King, Jr.” by Clayborne Carson as a great example of detailed leadership. I think the book “Steve Jobs” by Walter Isaacson is another good example of this.

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