Why You Must Learn to Lead

Top Leadership Characteristics, Top Leadership Qualities

Why is it that a promising startup chalked full of advantages (funding, people and product) fails to transition from an early-stage to self-sustaining company? How is it that an organization can go from losing money one year to record profitability the next year? Why can some high-ranking VPs never seem to get anything done, while lower-level managers possess substantial power and influence? It comes down to one word: leadership. One’s leadership ability will ultimately determine their level of effectiveness with and impact on both organizations and people.

The higher a person’s leadership ability, the higher their effectiveness. The lower their leadership ability, the lower their effectiveness. You see, organizations and people cannot grow beyond the ability of their leader. For example, on a scale of one to ten, if a leader rates a five, their effectiveness cannot be greater than four. If a leader rates a nine, their effectiveness cannot be greater than eight. The net result is that leadership ability either limits potential or creates opportunities for unleashing and realizing it.

No matter how effective you are personally, there is a limit to how much you can accomplish by yourself. The higher you want to ascend personally and professionally, the more you need leadership. Whatever you want to accomplish is only limited by your ability to successfully influence and lead others. If you want to increase your effectiveness and impact on organizations and people, you must learn to lead. The greater the impact you want to make, the greater your influence needs to be; i.e., you must have the ability to create and sustain positive change.

Leadership ability and success dedication also have a multiplying effect. For example, leadership ability at three and success dedication at seven create a specific level of effectiveness. However, leadership ability at seven and success dedication at nine create a much greater level of effectiveness. In the end, leadership ability is always the ceiling for personal and professional effectiveness. Leaders with high ceilings bring great promise. Leaders with low ceilings limit potential. This is why in times of trouble, companies look for new leadership.

In closing, between 1952-1954, the McDonald brothers sold fifteen franchises, but only opened ten restaurants. Between 1955-1959,their new partner, Ray Kroc, opened 100 McDonalds restaurants. In the next four years, Kroc increased the number to five hundred. While the McDonald brothers were successful at operating their original restaurant, the effectiveness of their expansion efforts was limited by their collective leadership ability. Kroc’s leadership ability, on the other hand, was much higher and far more successful. Lean to lead.

All contents copyright © 2014, Josh Lowry. All rights reserved.

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