Building Blocks or Stumbling Blocks?

I must reach beyond the comfortable stages of leadership[1] and throw off old habits so that I can change.[2] Robert Quinn wrote a book titled, Building the Bridge as You Walk on It and argues that your ability to enter into a fundamental state of leadership is dependent on your ability to abandon a comfortable routine of organizational management.  What? Should you stop doing what you are best at in order to become better?

I know that I need to move beyond the management tasks of leadership[3] and focus on the visionary tasks of leadership.[4] The things that I do well may actually be the stumbling block of my leadership skills. I may focus on the comfortable things too much while neglecting the things I do not want to do. When I lose focus I run the risk of becoming a manager instead of a leader. The difference between the two could not be greater. No life can be breathed into an organization through simple management. Simple management strives to maintain the status quo. While the status quo is not always bad it can never become better. Visionary leadership requires me to do things I am not currently doing. I must be willing to focus myself in new and uncertain directions.

What about you? Is your status quo leadership style prohibiting you from growing? Have you become too dependent on those things which you are good at?

[1] Robert E. Quinn, Building the Bridge As You Walk On It. Kindle Edition (San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 2004), Loc., 147

[2] Ibid., 156

[3] Ibid., 279

[4] Ibid., 289


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