We've all heard the expression that the fastest way to get from one point to the next, is a straight line. While there are instances when obstructions, obstacles, or other common sense considerations, force you to take a detour, doesn't it make sense to make the direct approach, the first method considered, etc? When one decides to become a leader, he will be confronted by challenges, and need to make a timely, reliable, well-considered, decision. How one does so, often differentiates between the potentially, great leader, and the mere, wannabe! One must discipline himself to seek the best, most direct approaches, not only because of expediency, etc, but, most importantly, because doing so, reduces adding to one's potential woes and obstacles, and opening up, some Pandora's Box, which did not originally exist! Therefore, let's review, in a mnemonic manner, using the STRAIGHT line method.
1. Strength; sustainable system: The more direct the approach, the easier it is for others, to recognize advances and improvements, and thus, more quickly, buy into the leader's philosophy and goals. The goal of a true leader must be, to not merely either be a space-holder, or a crisis manager, but to lead the way, towards addressing current needs, concerns and priorities, but, doing so, in a sustainable, easily reproducible, system.
2. True: You've heard the expression that you can fool some of the people some of the time, etc. However, the best leaders make decisions based on the truth and needs, rather than any sort of personal agenda, or politics. Be direct, explain your reasons, and proceed forward, step-by-step!
3. Relevant; rational: You'll be challenged finding supporters or followers, unless your vision, is considered relevant and rational. Don't beat around the bush, but rather, directly explain what you hope to achieve, and why!
4. Attention; attitude: Are you ready, willing and able to pay keen attention, to needs, details, and alternatives? Will your well-considered plan, consider alternatives, ramifications, and contingencies, and will you proceed forward, rather than in a horizontal manner? Is your positive, can-do attitude, so consistent and true, it becomes somewhat contagious and compelling?
5. Ideas; ideology; intent: Are you merely restating the same-old, same-old, or introducing ideas, which will move your organization forward? Are you consistently true to your ideology, because, otherwise, you are not truly making meaningful progress? How often will your introspectively examine your intent?
6. Generate growth; goodwill: Organizations which do not consistently evolve, often stagnate and diminish. A plan must seek to generate growth, without merely making changes, for change-sake! Doing this effectively, means focusing on consistently adding to the overall goodwill.
7. Head/heart: Either too much logic, or too much emotion, are poor approaches to leadership! There must be a head/heart balance, where one probes, understands and satisfies the emotional needs of his stakeholders, while doing so in a rational, logical, meaningful, sane way.
8. Timely: Unless action is taken in a timely manner, you are not effectively leading! Taking timely action, means understanding needs, concerns and priorities, considering alternatives, developing quality strategic and action plans, and doing so, without procrastination, or unnecessary delay.
If you decide you are ready to be a leader, understand you must be decisive and prepared. Using the STRAIGHT line approach, helps you focus on the bigger picture.