Businesses fail. Okay, I get that. I think most people know that. But why?
This question has been doing the rounds for time immemorial, with laborious business postmortems yielding a multitude of answers each time. Such answers range from complacency to poor timing and from poor business plans to bad products. However there is one answer that consistently appears in their findings; poor leadership.
Leaders, have a tremendous responsibility bestowed upon them. As a word on its own “Leader” trips off the tongue as effortlessly as water flows downhill but carries with it an immeasurable weight; the burden of success. Still it begs a further question. What is it specifically about leadership that these innumerous studies have illuminated as the underlying causes of failure? “Absence of vision” appears, as does “lack of communication” in my trawling of various publications around the web. “Failure to inspire” is another that frequently rears its head. Angie Morgan, founder of leadership-development firm Lead Star, posits that the two biggest things that all great leaders do are 1) influence outcomes and 2) inspire others. While influencing outcomes is of course significant, it is clear to me that leaders must be able to inspire others in order to influence outcomes. In fact, notwithstanding poor products, financial mismanagement and such like, it is my contention that inspiring others is the single most powerful art form at a leader’s disposal. And the single most effective way to inspire others is to share your story. Here’s why: