The Perils of Leadership: Making Chief is the Easy Part
by Chief John Buckman
Here is the 7th installment of Chief John Buckman's Leadership Series.....
CHANGE: PROACTIVE IS BETTER THAN REACTIVE
Organizations fall out of favor when they fail to keep pace with their customers' changing needs. Once you reach an elite level of your profession, you must continually adapt to maintain or improve your position.
It is so much easier to hide among the pack instead of being the lead dog. When you are working toward that top spot, you are never satisfied. You are open to any changes that might improve your organization. You can evaluate yourself against the performance of whoever is running ahead of you.
When you finally reach “Number One,” you're all alone. There's nobody left to chase. So there's a temptation not to run quite as fast as before. You forget that the time to shift into overdrive is when you are the hunted not the hunter. You have to show some extra foot so the competition doesn't gain on you.
The top perch in any field carries a weighty responsibility. Once you attain it, everyone expects you to dominate your competition; you are supposed to be the best. Should your customers discover that your product or service is short of dazzling, they will shop elsewhere. A competitor may get away with selling them an inferior product because the customers come to it with lowered expectations. However, if you're “Number One,” no one will cut you that kind of slack.
But change usually fails when it is a response to panic. Always remember that no matter how well things are going, you can always improve something. Making voluntary changes now saves you from being forced to make mandatory changes later. However, never alter anything simply for the sake of doing something different. Any modifications you attempt must have clear, productive goals.
Next will be part 8 and the last part of Chief Buckman's Leadership Series, "SET THE EXAMPLE: LOOK UP!".
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Until next time....