Do Leaders Matter?

June 26, 2009

A great conversation happening in two parts with Tim Walker at  Hoover’s Business Insight Zone

Mr. Walker starts out referencing Atlantic Monthly’s recent article, Do CEOs Matter? in this post titled; Who’s the best CEO in America?

It is followed up by expanding on comments to that first post in this; This is why I love blogging

So lets back up a bit, as a CEO (or general manager) in the SMB space, does leadership matter?

I say it does

And to back up that statement, let me paint a little picture.

Have you ever seen a horse race?

Second, have you ever seen a horse race where an unfortunate jockey has fallen off of the horse?

If you haven’t, the riderless horse does not not stop and turn around, it does not take its saddle and bridle and walk home.

That riderless horse keeps going in the race.

It keeps on with the herd!

But by itself?

By itself, Here is what is won’t do

It won’t find a seam to get through the obstacles, or take to that inside rail either.

For that?

For that it need the experienced hands of the jockey to point the way.

And a leaderless business can just follow along the track too. The business does not implode in seconds, it lopes along (usually in mediocrity.)

Leadership is just that. Hands on the reins to provide the adjustments and ideas necessary to win that race. Guiding through that seam, or providing that incentive and drive to get to that inside rail.

PS, look closely at this image, yes the jockey has fallen – the horse beside the jockey in red close to the rear, if you can’t quite see it, click the link, the image owner has it highlighted

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Photo Credit Michael Spencer via flickr

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