In his book, The Checklist Manifesto, Atul Gawande explained a profound challenge for 21st Century Leadership:
“The volume and complexity of what we have to deal with have exceeded our ability to remember what to do.”
What are the implications? The answer can be found in a hilarious scene from one of my favorite films, “O Brother, Where Art Thou?”
This classic comedy tells the story of three stumblebum convicts who escape prison to go on a quest for treasure. At one point they are hiding in a barn loft and find themselves surrounded by an army of lawmen. The lawmen are waving torches and threatening to burn down the barn if the convicts don’t surrender. At that moment, their self-appointed leader, Ulysses Everett McGill (portrayed by George Clooney) says four times, “Damn! We’re in a tight spot!”
In our warp-speed world, leaders are in a tight spot for many reasons. Here are 7 to consider. Leaders are in a tight spot when:
- VOLUME AND COMPLEXITY of change continue to increase.
- FORESIGHT is lacking, which can lead to being blindsided by something unexpected.
- MOVING TOO SLOWLY to spot opportunities, mobilize resources, and take action.
- DECISION CYCLES are not fast enough and smart enough for a warp-speed world.
- DISTRUST— the debilitating social disease—is allowed to take root and grow.
- TEAM DYSFUNCTIONS require courage that they cannot muster.
- LIVING SYSTEMS — those dynamic, wily foes — spawn implementation inertia.
If you would like to learn how I can help you navigate safely through your tight spots, let’s connect.
~ Leland Russell | Cultivating 21st Century Leadership
LELAND RUSSELL is founder and CEO of GEO Group Strategic Services, a firm that cultivates 21st Century Leadership. Leland helps exceptional leaders shape smart solutions and accelerate superior results with powerful, proven methods.
Leland has built a stellar performance track record with a wide range of Fortune 500 organizations, mid-size firms, and non-profits. His typical clients are CEOs, business leaders, and mission-critical teams.
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