The Challenges in Business Leadership


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There is an ongoing consensus that one of the biggest challenges in business is leadership related. When discussing the various issues businesses face, at some point in time, the conversation swings to the accountability, roles, and influences leaders have on the overall success of an organization.

On the surface, nothing has a greater impact on the motivation, direction, success, and failure of a business than the leadership in the business. Most of these roles are defined through the strength and influence of the primary leader. Examples of great organizations paralleled by the vision and influences of great leaders, i.e., Steven Jobs, Jack Welch, Jamie Dimon, Herb Kelleher and Warren Buffett.

However, there are other leadership forces that bring significant influence to an organization. While great emphasis is placed on the primary leader, there are actually three types of leaders existing within every business.

The three leadership groups in a firm are:

1. Anointed leaders: The leader that is formally selected, elected, or assigned the task of leading. They operate at the front of the room and at the head of the organization, or a business group, or a department or team.

2. Emerging leaders: While not formally assigned a leadership role, emerging leaders have tremendous influence and are looked to by others for feedback, confirmation, and support. These leaders have the confidence of others because of their energy, their presence, their ability to listen and relate. These leaders earn their influence as others choose to be drawn to them rather than forced to accept them.

3. Back of the room leaders: This group is often viewed more as disruptive, non-conformists rather than leaders. However, their pragmatic, alternative perspectives can easily influence others and can interrupt or derail even the best of potential strategies and initiatives. Their ability to influence others looking for alternative thoughts combined with the potential validity of their viewpoints cannot me minimized or ignored by the leaders.

All three leadership groups provide significant influences on the ongoing success of a business. With so much emphasis on the need for great leadership in business today, an argument can be made that what is needed is simply unified leadership.

When all the leaders are thinking and communicating in concert with each other, there is little to derail or interrupt a well-conceived, effectively communicated, and decisive initiative. It is leadership disconnects that interrupt the successful programs and strategies in an organization. Focus on leadership continuity and the business travels on an uninterrupted, successful path.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Dave Cooke
I leverage my 25 years experience in sales and marketing to create and implement strategic initiatives and develop educational programs that increase both revenues and profits. I take great pride in my experience in turbulent, chaotic, and transitional work environments. It is from these experiences that I have developed my commitment to collaborative teams, strong internal and external relationships, effective communication, decisive leadership, and a cohesive, collaborative strategy as keys to sustainable revenue growth.


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