Venture capitalist Mark Suster has a great post on his blog called: Lead, Follow or Get the Fuck Out of the Way. It’s a relevant read no matter what kind of organization you happen to be a part of. I think the lessons are universally applicable.
Here are two paragraphs on leadership that I really liked:
The problem with hard decisions is that you can never make everybody happy. There is always somebody impacted or somebody who thought “plan B” was better. Leadership is about listening to multiple opinions but in the end trusting your instincts and deciding. Leadership is about not worrying about how people will think about you for hard calls. It is about being willing to be wrong.
Leaders have well-formed opinions that go against the grain, the temerity to sell their vision to skeptics, the tenacity to stick to their ideas when they are inevitably criticized, the resiliency to wake every day when they’re being kicked by everybody for their beliefs but also the willingness to look at data and re-chart their course when they got it wrong.
In business school they teach you to privilege decisiveness over inaction. They teach you that no decision is actually a decision and that you shouldn’t wait around for the perfect solution. It’s rare to have all of the information. So make a decision and go. Sometimes, of course, this can cause problems. Mistakes will happen. But I generally subscribe to this approach.
One of the ways I am trying to develop these skills – which may not be obvious to some of you – is by writing on this blog every day. I’m not always happy with result. Sometimes it really pains me to hit “Post now” when I’ve run out of time and I have to get to the office. But in the grand scheme of things, that’s okay. It’s more about the discipline of putting myself out there every single day.
Hopefully this approach creates as much value for you as it does for me.