The Daily Challenge of Leadership

Yesterday I went to my son, Ben’s, “Back to the Future Day” where parents get to sit in the classrooms as the students go through a normal day. I sat in a Language Arts, World History, and Spanish class. I was quickly reminded of the real work involved in teaching middle school students. I hadn’t been in a 6th Grade classroom in 38 years, but as the teachers covered compound predicates and ancient Egyptian history about the pharaohs I realized the amount of detailed preparation and planning and execution that goes into a 90-minute class.

Then I thought about my day job, and the many business leaders I work with over a year’s time. It struck me again that to be a truly effective business leader you have to bring your best performance every day as you go about influencing how other people think.

You might only interact with a certain employee, supplier, or customer once in a year’s time. Are you having the type of influence that you want to have or are you just going through the motions? How about with the employees, suppliers, and customers you see on a regular basis? Are you treating them with the same level of respect and standard of excellence that you provide to your newest employees, suppliers, and customers?

Leadership in a moment of crisis is important, but those moments are small in comparison to the daily challenge of being a great leader regardless of the situation. To be a great leader, you have to bring your very best every day in every situation. That’s how you refine your leadership capacity to be ready for any moment.

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