Ever heard people over-promise and under-deliver? Nicknamed ‘gonna’ (gonna do this, gonna do that…)? The first part of ‘gonna’ is ‘go’! But, sometimes, it just becomes critical to actually take the first steps (or the next steps) along the road to doing what we say we’re going to do. Leadership credibility is diminished by proclaiming our good intentions and then complaining about delivery problems.
The reality of our intentions can, of course, be matched by the reality of the obstacles to fulfilling them. I often tell younger leaders, though, that people don’t care about details, because everyone has their fair share of struggles. Don’t get preoccupied with charting the pregnancy, but “show me the baby”!
Good CEOs don’t report to their board of management on the ins and outs of their struggles, they deliver results. Excuses may be valid sometimes and there is always some measure of flexibility and allowance needed, but outcomes and success are signs that good leaders have worked through the issues that everyone faces, anyway.
Ineffective leaders just tend to highlight their inability to fix problems. Again, everyone needs support and understanding but simply talking about challenge after challenge doesn’t actually get a job done. Talk to the right people and get the right help, but don’t struggle in isolation and wait for the accountability to follow.
Inexperienced leaders can too easily justify non-performance and then finger-point their way out of trouble. The old adage ‘if it’s got to be, then it’s up to me’ may not seem all fair, but there’s a measure of truth to the need to take responsibility for the fix. It’s a commitment level that is an increasingly rare commodity, but a priceless one for any mover and shaker.