Usually, I recommend that good organisational skills are quintessential in making things work, but to really get things working in the midst of rabbles and rebels, you need something beyond organisational skills – what you need in essence is leadership skills. Leadership skills entail a lot – it soars far beyond personal skills, because it’s what will help you make some drastic decisions and take drastic actions where there is an urgent need to. The decisions don’t have to impress – in short, most often, they don’t really impress. Leadership decisions are vision-inclined; the blind don’t see it, and to the myopic, it is blurry – anything blurry to most vision impaired is as good as being non-existent. So, if it always has to please to design and make a future, the future may never come.
Recently, in my closed-niche, I have made certain decisions that don’t jell with a number of folks, and I intend to stick to it, not because I am ordained in rigidity or rascality, but what I see with my un-biological retina goes beyond the next ten years. Just the previous day before this piece, I was in my barber’s shop, and I said what most people are scared of saying – I told them I was planning for life after death – what will be, and what will resonate for good when I am gone. For a man my age, some people felt I shouldn’t be saying that, but I hate to pretend that I will live a hundred years because that is remote. Leadership must be honest and real with all basic assessments, and then project in order to protect.
To make things work in a chaotic atmosphere, the first thing you need is order. Without order, no one is in control, and where there’s no control, there’s no quiet, calmness, peace – in the absence of these basic factors, you can’t put a structure down because every plan will fail. Competitors, if they identify where there’s no order, move quickly to prey on it so as to kill it. Killing it reduces the amount they spend in competitive warfare, which in turn, increases their profits. This also applies to every other aspect of life.
Assertion is another basic principle needed to make things work in boisterous situations. Leadership is feeble without assertion – what erects durability is insistence, persistence and impudence. Assertion means you know what you want and you’re ready to stick to what you want. Assertive leadership is never a pushover, never wavers, does not fluctuate like alternating current, and isn’t a mirage which is only a reflection on hot tars in a very summery day. Where there’s assertion, things work.
Assertiveness without a clear-cut plan is foolishness – you must have a good plan to make things work in a chaotic environment. Where there’s no plan, there’s no span – to get the full extent, stretch, or get to the reach of anything, there must be a good plan. A leader without a plan makes the situation more anarchic – this is where most people find themselves. It’s better to say you don’t know what to do than to concoct – concocting makes the situation more chaotic. And in having a plan also, you should come up with multiple ideas, and in coming up with multiple ideas, you must realise that borrowing from other people, listening to their ingeniousness, is part of great leadership attributes. Everything doesn’t have to come from you.
Every plan comes with unprinted ideas residing in the centre of the cerebellum – to make it work, it must be designed on papers – don’t just make a plan, design it. Why should you design it? For every plan, you aren’t the only builder; co-builders must see the vision – they must see the beginning and end of what they’re building. You must spell out your start and end point, so that those who run with you will know the starting and the finishing line – they also need to know what is between the beginning and the end. When builders get confused, they go back to the plans.
Stick to the design except for minor strategic innovations or adjustments. You’ll always be lured midway to destroy the plan, but you must focus on your design – if you don’t, you’ll build a vampire. What do I mean? Imagine when the head becomes the leg and the leg head. Some teams and structures are skewed to fail when disproportion, disorientation, dismember-ness, and all the disgusting elements are nick-translated into it.
In spite of sticking to the design, you must maintain flexibility all through your moments. As aforementioned, stick to the design with minor strategic innovations and adjustments in mind. If you can’t flex, believe me, you’re heading nowhere. Many leaders think flexing is weakness, but rigidity is the worst weakness I have ever come across – flexing is the greatest strength I’ve ever encountered. Be ready to bend when necessary.
To conclude, I must warn you to not always try to be creative or innovative, as it could be a bloody waste of time. If the best has already been designed or planned by someone who knows more than you, take it and tweak it. Borrow from those who know more than you, and stop always trying to be a superman. Replicate a good design with minor adjustments. If it answers your question, take it and use it. If it has a solution to your problem, acknowledge the owner and humbly use it!