Several decades ago, perhaps because of a popular game – show, we often said, when someone, who appeared to have, neither an understanding, or willingness to broaden his horizon, in order to discover more, You couldn’t even buy a clue! While this snide remark was, often, either, in jest, or merely a smart, snarly remark, all – too – often, we observe individuals, in positions of leadership, who seem, to have no CLUE, in terms of what’s needed, goals, priorities, options, etc. In my, over 4 decades of involvement, in nearly every aspect of leadership, from identifying, qualifying, training, developing and consulting to thousands of actual, and/ or potential leaders, to having served, as a leader, for a variety of different size, and mission, groups, I believe it’s important to discuss, some of the potential risks involved, when this is the reality. With that in mind, this article will attempt to briefly examine, consider, and discuss, using the mnemonic approach, some of the potential risks and ramifications, when this occurs.
1. Clever; creative; champion; causes; character: How can anyone, champion, the best possible causes, which focus on the needs, priorities, goals, and perceptions, of the group, and stakeholders, unless he possesses the type of character, which proceeds, with an open – mind, and avoids, either excuses, or the restrictions of his personal comfort zone? In order to have an idea, what’s needed and necessary, a quality leader must be clever enough to admit, he doesn’t already know – it – all, and have all the answers, and proceeds, in a creative, well – intentioned way, so he fights for the causes, which align with the mission of the particular organization. Proceeding with the quality of character, which inspires and motivates, and brings people together, minimizes risks, and helps to pay attention, to the most meaningful factors!
2. Listen; learn; lessons; leadership: A relevant leader does all he can, to learn the lessons, which will help him, know how to proceed! To do so, one must be willing to effectively listen, and learn from every conversation and experience. This is the necessary focus, for insightful leadership!
3. Useful; usable; urgent: It’s important to differentiate between urgent issues, and trivial, unessential ones! One will only take advantage of the relevant clues, when the primary focus is on useful, urgent leading!
4. Empathy; emphasis; endurance; excellence: Will you focus on your utmost degree of excellence, or be willing to accept, good – enough? Making a difference, for the better, requires a combination of exceptional endurance/ commitment, putting your emphasis, where it will do, the most good, and proceeding with the utmost degree of genuine empathy!
Don’t be one of those clueless leaders! Rather, consider, how to proceed, and avoid the risks, of proceeding, without a CLUE!