Despite the fact that we frequently talk about how important good, prepared, informed, relevant, sustainable planning is to being a good leader, we rarely emphasize the level of detail, evaluation, and perception that goes into the process! Anyone can be expected to make proactive decisions, but only if they are confident in their course of action and their justification. Therefore, I felt it might be helpful, to focus this article on precisely how the greatest leaders proceed to make up their MINDS. I submit a mnemonic exercise to help each of us maintain a checklist in order to stay organized and on task.
1. Motivations; message; methods; manageable; meaningful: Start by examining your own motivations to make sure they are primarily centered on service and commitment to your organization and stakeholders rather than just being marginally self-serving and/or selfish. Can you convince others of the validity of your ideas and persuade them to accept them as their own with your underlying message? You need to entice people to join you in your endeavor if you want to lead. Is the methodology you chose best suited to the needs of your team? What management strategies will you employ, is the strategy feasible, and will it result in an improvement that addresses a priority, need, or concern? Are you being proactive, meaningful, and necessary in your approach?
2. Intentions; ideas; ideology; integrity: Are your motivations sincere or selfish? What is the purpose exactly? Are your ideas central to you, or are you merely after attention? What forms the foundation of your ideology? Even when you might be tempted to veer off topic, etc., do you uphold your integrity at all costs? Are you consistently putting others before yourself?
3. Needs: How does your approach or philosophy address needs, concerns, and priorities in the most meaningful way possible is one of the first questions you need to ask yourself. Do you first think about whether a plan really focuses on what your organization and stakeholders need?
4. Dedication; decisive; delve deeply: Why do you devote your time and energy to that particular group? Are you ready, willing and able to make a decision, when others seem to fear rocking the boat? Can you consistently look past the surface and delve deeply into all aspects involved, such as needs, alternatives, ramifications, etc.?
5. Sustainable system; strengthening: Have you weighed both the pros and cons, in order to insure that your program strengthens your group, rather than merely making change-for-change-sake? Do you merely view thinks from a myopic perception, addressing immediate concerns/issues/needs, or do you proceed in a way that addresses these, while still keeping your eye on the big picture? Is your strategy long-term and thus improves the group’s abilities and relevance in the long run?
Leaders cannot be effective until/unless, they make up their MINDS. What do you want to accomplish and achieve?