Leadership skills are not necessary for one’s own success. People can and have made a lot of money without being good leaders.
Success without leadership requires a focus on the transaction, the deal. It ignores the long term, dismissing relationships and relies on immediate gratification as the metric of success. Smart people have been doing this for centuries and made billions doing it. They are personal successes, but they are not leaders.
They have built businesses that required their presence to run. In their absence the inertia they provided gives way to the forces of dysfunction left in their wake. Organizations without leaders fail.
Want to identify a non-leader? Listen to their words. They are peppered with singular personal pronouns. They focus on what was just done, or what is just about to happen. They talk about ‘the deal’, win-lose, and have a tendency to be overly responsive to criticism.
Leaders on the other hand focus on the long term. Their impact is felt long after they are absent. They accept criticism today understanding that their action are intended for tomorrow, next year or a decade. They accept input, but don’t react to insults. They incorporate advice and share praise.
Want to know another way to identify a non-leader? Look at how the people around them behave. No one is perfect. We all have pockets of ignorance and need input from others to fill the gaps. The higher up you go, the more you depend on others’ knowledge. People around leaders respect the leader enough to provide the knowledge without judgement or external comment. Around non-leaders are people who provide the knowledge, and then talk out of turn about the leaders ignorance. They gossip and spread the word about the lack of understanding.
We have seen with the Trump administration and brilliant transactional businessman stumble badly in a capacity requiring leadership.
-Donald Trump is all about Donald Trump. He has said as much on the campaign trail
-Donald Trump is all about the transaction.He doesn’t understand long-term impacts
-Donald Trump’s own “inner circle” is constantly leaking tidbits about his ignorance and fumbles.
-Donald Trump cannot let any critique pass without attacking.
Donald Trump is a great deal maker, but is proving to be a lousy leader.