Chaos is the raw material from which we build our lives. The sources of chaos are 1) those things over which humanity has no control – weather, earthquakes, etc. 2. the chaos of relationships – how society interacts with each other and 3. the chaos within. Understanding who we are, what we want and how to pursue what we want.
For this post let’s focus on the second category and narrow our focus to work. How is order established and maintained at work? The answer to that question is what leadership is all about. Three skills are required.
First, leaders must be able to evaluate all relevant factors and set clear purpose. Without purpose there is no framework for utilizing resources. Without purpose chaos reigns.
Second, leaders must have the skill to select, organize and engage the right people on an ongoing basis. It’s the ongoing part that’s a challenge since people are continually growing and changing. This requires authentic caring about people and establishing the trusted relationships upon which oneness is built.
Last, leaders must see that the purpose is pursued with excellence. It requires the process skills to build and support a great product or service and do it in high quality and predictable ways. Without orderly processes, the team is unable to work together effectively, frustration grows, and trust breaks down. The deepest desire of people is to ‘win’ at something, and poor processes stand in the way of that desire.
Like so many things, the above three skills are easy to talk about, but in practice learning to balance them in ways that optimize results is a life-long pursuit. Step back and consider where you might improve the fit among these three skills.