Strong leaders learn the right things. In today’s complex organizations, this means that they must learn what is going on by trusting the right people.
To do this, they cultivate powerful relationships with key people who always seem to know what’s really going on, and who know how to get things done.
How do you identify the people whose judgement you can trust?
To learn what’s really happening, a leader has to sift through far too many inputs and consider far too many perspectives. To make matters worst, far too many of these inputs have been filtered through a political perspective designed to curry favor.
To succeed, therefore, a leader must find simplicity on the other side of this complexity. The leader must somehow make all of this complexity comprehensible and actionable, and must do this, not by denying complexity, but by engaging it.
Successful leaders learn to identify and to nurture a few key trusting relationships. They build these with those people who deeply understand what is happening in their area, why it’s happening, and what this might mean. Even more important, however, successful leaders bring into their inner circle, only those who are also able to clearly and thoughtfully articulate their views about what is going on, and who are also willing to share their frank opinions on what needs to be done about it.
As an example of this approach, read about the people that Abe Ankumah the CEO of the network analytics software firm Nyansa calls First Principle Thinkers“.