A good friend and co-author of our published Psychological Autopsy (2011) told me that if I “want to be a leader that I need to be more concise”. I had recently promoted to sergeant in the Police department from which I am now retired. At the time he was angry at me because I had promised him I would give my decision about travel plans we had discussed.
“If a man is solely judged on his moment of weakness there will be not leaders in the world” said a 91-year old man with skin cancer seated at a bar in Florida
Eventually, I called my colleague to say I was ‘all in’ when he let me know he had made other plans. Okay, my bad. I remembered at once him telling me that if I wanted to have followers I needed to be more concise and communicate more clearly. How true his remarks ring to this day and I hear it often from other friends and family.
He had given me a deadline and I failed to let him know of my intentions and he decided he needed to move on or risk losing air fare, hotels, etc. He was right, I was vague and noncommittal. I was hurt by his gruff response but it taught me an important lesson. If I want to have followers I need to be concise. Since then these words resonate with my belief system but I’d say I still remain uncertain when given too many choices.
“The genius of leadership lies in the manner in which leaders see, act on, and satisfy followers’ values and motivations as well as their own” and I can fully relate to this and attribute my leadership to a model of shared responsibility and collateral command.
Institute of Medicine (US) (2004). Committee on the Work Environment for Nurses and Patient Safety; Page A, editor.