There’s an app for just about everything, so wouldn’t it be nice if there was an app for leadership? It could tell when you’re not paying attention, make decisions for you, handle your fierce conversations, and play a special ring tone when you should stop talking and listen. It could negotiate contracts, leases, and other deals for you. It could keep you from overspending so you stay on budget. It could even motivate your team to achieve extraordinary levels of productivity and excellence. An app for leadership would certainly have its advantages, but would you really discipline yourself to use it?
If you think about it, leadership is really more abstract and unique to each individual. Some leaders are quiet while others are loud. Some are deep methodical thinkers while others are all about taking action. Some are extremely disciplined while others are totally out of control. Some are fearless while others live in fear. The only absolute about leadership is that there are no absolutes.
Your effectiveness as a leader will never be determined by an app on your smartphone. It will be determined by your unique patterns of thinking and behavior. It’s your thinking and behavior that defines you; how you process information, communicate with others, make decisions, and handle tough situations – all are specific to you and only you.
Since there isn’t an app for leadership, here are some no-compromise thoughts on leadership thinking and behavior:
- Blockages: All leaders have a collection of things they just don’t like to do. I call them blockages. If you avoid tough conversations like the plague, you have a blockage when it comes to confrontational situations. If you hate financial reports and cash-flow plans, you have a blockage when it comes to numbers. Leadership blockages are emotional barriers for business disciplines that are outside your comfort zone. Like fear of flying and public speaking, all emotional barriers can be conquered to some degree. You don’t have to become an expert – you just need to commit yourself to step into the unknown. There is no greater feeling of accomplishment than breaking through a blockage.