Hmm... How does this gem from Big Al work in today’s leadership environment? With all the tools for learning that are available to us at our fingertips, why does this rise to the level of me writing a leadership blog about it?
It’s simple. Understanding something is the essence to empathy, to really know why, not just what? Most folks can ascertain the what of a problem, and what the situation is but the special folks who genuinely lead, understand the why a problem exists. And understanding why it exists helps you to solve "the what" that exists.
In any organization or profession, there is no shortage of people who point out the problem, who say, this needs fixing or this is an issue. But the true leaders solve the problem by understanding the why. And to understand the why, we must thoroughly understand our organization, the challenges that exist in the near future and far out future (think Near Rocks, Far Rocks).
I also see it in our political leaders who point out or reiterate a talking point of a problem that has existed for years, but they have no idea of how to solve it and it seems as if they have no inkling of curiosity of why to solve it. That is not leadership. That is not why they asked us for our vote. That is followership!
So, what trait do you look for in your leaders, those that simply identify the problem or those that are curious, creative and dedicated to finding and enacting that solution? The choice is yours.