Building below the water line
Today there is a tremendous emphasis on leadership themes such as vision, organizational strategy, and the “market-sensitivity” of one’s message. And it’s all great stuff (stuff I wish I’d heard when I was real young). But if it is all about what’s above the water line, we are likely to witness a leadership crash of sorts in the coming years. Leaders blessed with great natural skills and charisma may be vulnerable to collapse in their character, their key relationships, their center of belief because they never learned that you cannot (or should not anyway) build above the water line until there is a substantial foundation below it. A re-read of the life of Moses (which I’ve just done) is the best example of this. The man spent 80 years preparing for his more visible work. My opinion: the test of a leader is less what he or she accomplishes before 45 years of age and more what happens after. Call it sustainability! The trick is to last and grow stronger, wiser, more focused with the years.