August 1, 2011 Business, Leadership

Leadership Lessons from Washington

If leadership is the capacity to take people where they need to go, whether or not they realize it or want it; then I think we can all agree we’ve had almost no leadership in these weeks of frustrating debate over the budget and debt ceiling.

As business leaders, there are some takeaways from this highly publicized discussion we can apply to our companies.  Making decisions and building consensus is really tough work. The length of time it takes to make a decision can have a significant effect on your business — both for better and for worse. A few key points to remember when you have to make a group decision for your business:

  • Include the right people in the process
  • Make sure everyone has the same information to work from
  • Keep everyone focused on what’s best for the whole organization

When building consensus within a group, the goal is not to have everyone love the outcome, or even like it for that matter–the goal is for everyone to be flexible, and to be able to live with the decision.

And one more thing, everyone involved has to realize when everything cannot be fixed in one step.  Sometimes you have to take a few steps at a time.  Create a plan that takes you in the right direction, measure the success of that plan often and make tough changes
(quickly if the plan isn’t working).