“The Greatest Good For The Greatest Number For The Longest Time”
The “greatest good, for the greatest number for the longest time” is the moral obligation of every ethical leader. To be a leader is to be entrusted with resources, resources to be used for the benefit of others. Leadership is a heavy responsibility for it requires one to always operate from the highest leverage point possible; allocating resources where they will have the most impact.
The most dramatic is not always the most important, nor is the most seemingly urgent always the point of greatest impact. Humans have a tendency to grab the most visible, closest to hand solution even if it is not always the best response. Being a good leader can mean that one must, at times, not listen to the clamoring for immediate gratification. When the bathtub is overflowing because the faucet is frozen, all too many grab the mop. Instead, we need to take a deep breath, search for the cut off valve – which is all too often buried in the backyard under decades of leaves and dirt – and needs a BIG wrench. But if it were easy, it would already have been done!
The quickest way out of a complex situation is often the fastest way back in. Painting over rust looks great, but not for long! It is reasonable to expect greatness from our leaders AND we must also allow time for realistic solutions to take effect.
“Real leaders focus resources in areas that provide the greatest opportunity rather than making across-the-board decisions.” – Frank Sonnenberg, Follow Your Conscience: Make a Difference
“You can talk about having a clear purpose and strategy for your life, but ultimately this means nothing if you are not investing resources consistent with your strategy. In the end, a strategy is nothing but good intentions unless it’s effectively implemented.” – Clayton M. Christensen, How Will You Measure Your Life?
“I can give you a six-word formula for success: Think things through–then follow through.” – Edward Rickenbacker
“One of the tests of leadership is the ability to recognize a problem before it becomes an emergency.” – Arnold Glasow
As always, I share what I most want and need to learn. – Nathan S. Collier