This Fast Company article on leadership according to Harvard’s Ronald Heifetz is ancient (from way back in 1999) but very true. A few choice quotes:
The real heroism of leadership involves having the courage to face reality — and helping the people around you to face reality.
Mustering the courage to interrogate reality is a central function of a leader. And that requires the courage to face three realities at once. First, what values do we stand for — and are there gaps between those values and how we actually behave? Second, what are the skills and talents of our company — and are there gaps between those resources and what the market demands? Third, what opportunities does the future hold — and are there gaps between those opportunities and our ability to capitalize on them?
Now, don’t get the wrong idea. Leaders don’t answer those questions themselves. That’s the old definition of leadership: The leader has the answers — the vision — and everything else is a sales job to persuade people to sign up for it.
Read the whole article here. I long to see more of that kind of leaderhip in companies, and fortunately it is becoming more and more common.