What true leadership looks like…

In an era where buzzwords like “ownership” echo through corporate hallways, it’s crucial to revisit the essence of effective leadership. The notion of ‘driving the bus’ or ‘steering the ship’ by middle management may have its roots in well-meaning motivations, but such directives often miss the mark in galvanizing teams. The concept has been diluted into an oft-repeated phrase that lacks the substantive impact necessary to spur real change and growth within organizations.

The evolution of leadership paints a vivid picture of its true mandate. Historically, to lead was to be at the forefront, exemplified by kings who charged into battle ahead of their armies. Theirs was a demonstration of ultimate responsibility—where the success or failure of strategies and directives was a direct reflection of their own mettle and foresight. However, in today’s business environment, the term “ownership” has occasionally been repurposed to shield leaders from the repercussions of their team’s performance, rather than to foster a culture of collective accountability.

A paradigm shift is essential, where leaders are not mere figureheads but the pivotal force propelling their team forward. The concept of “extreme ownership,” coined by ex-Navy SEAL Jocko Willink, encapsulates this. It signifies a leader’s commitment to prioritizing the team’s welfare above their own, understanding that the actions and outcomes of the team are inextricably tied to their leadership. This ethos of leadership demands more than just accountability—it requires a deep-rooted dedication to nurturing and guiding each team member.

Transformative leadership calls for a balanced approach. While the onus of the overall team performance rests on the leader’s shoulders, each team member must also be entrusted with the responsibility for their individual roles. This is not to burden them with undue pressure but to kindle a sense of involvement and ownership over their contributions. Leaders must articulate their vision consistently and clearly, cultivating an environment where every success is celebrated as a collective achievement, thus bolstering morale and fostering a cohesive unit.

Leadership transcends the act of delegation—it’s about empowering and inspiring a team to excel. A leader’s job is to own the team’s performance comprehensively, but they must also facilitate an atmosphere where the team can revel in the fruits of their collective labor. Embracing the ethos of military and SEAL leaders, it’s about guiding with conviction and sharing the accolades, demonstrating that each member’s effort is integral to the whole.

In instilling this leadership philosophy, businesses can unlock unprecedented growth and drive performance to new heights. The journey to achieving high growth begins with redefining leadership—a charge not to be taken lightly, but rather embraced with the vigor and passion it truly warrants.


Ready to scale your business?

Weekly ideas to help the growth journey easier Sign up today for weekly tips, ideas and strategies to help you on your journey to further success.