We have no shortage of observers stating this – we have a shortage of good leaders. This seems to be true in every arena – business, education, politics…
Vince Molinaro has one approach to beckon forth better leaders and better leadership. It’s right there in the title of his book: The Leadership Contract: The Fine Print to Becoming an Accountable Leader.
Among the reasons that we are in a crisis, and so hungry for better, (and more) leaders, is because of our “heroic model of leadership.” He states:
The old heroic model of leadership just isn’t sustainable anymore. No one leader could possibly have all the answers — and yet we’re constantly watching our leaders today, waiting for them to slip up, waiting for them to demonstrate that they, in fact, don’t know everything.
It’s pretty tough to meet the expectations for great leadership in this sky-high-expectations environment.
And, not only do we long for that one “heroic” leader, we also want leadership training and leadership books to provide a quick fix. You know, the “three easy steps to becoming the greatest leader in all of history” list that will immediately transform a mediocre leader into a great leader overnight. Not gonna happen! From the book:
We have been too simplistic about what it really takes to develop leaders… We are dumbing down leadership training and trying to make it quick and easy to become a good leader. The result is that too many leaders simply don’t understand what real leadership is about.
Mr. Molinaro’s solution is to adopt, and implement, a leadership contract. His suggestion is that this contract should consist of four terms:
#1 – Leadership is a Decision – Make It
#2 – Leadership in an Obligation – Step Up
#3 – Leadership is Hard Work – — Get Tough
#4 – Leadership is a Community – Connect
His book, as you would expect, expands on each of these.
This book is right — we do need better leaders. And, just as there is no one quick fix, there is also no one book with all the answers. But add this book to other good ones on leadership (practically every book by Kouzes and Posner; Eleven Rings by Phil Jackson; Extreme Ownership by Willink and Babin; and many others), and you might get on the path to understanding good leadership and good leaders.
And, yes, it is a path, and will take a while to reach your destination. A long while.
And understanding the path to follow, and then getting on that path, might help you to become a much better leader.