While “yes we can” maybe among the three most motivational words of the English language, “No we can’t” need not be seen as the most de-motivational.  The strength of leadership is not just measured by the ability to pull a team into action but also the ability to maintain control and discipline.

“A no is a no”:  “no, it’s not safe”, “no, we are not ready”, “no is what we all agreed”, “no we are not doing it today”, “no is my final answer”.   If a leader is unable to enforce a group decision, or even worse a direct command, then you can fairly conclude that he or she is not leading but merely involved with the process.

Over the years I have worked time and again with businesses and other institutions that have an inherent culture of polite anarchy.  Where group decisions are frequently broken at will.  In these organizations, even the very best leaders find it difficult to truly lead.  At home too, teenage children should be seen as the ultimate challenge for leadership training, especially in an environment where the other parent has a strongly opposing position over a particular way of approach.

In my opinion, for many of us, it is time to focus more on improving our leadership skills in the area of discipline, rather than taking another course on team motivation.  After all, if we decided some time ago that our business is not in the cheese business, and when we find our R&D team (yet again) working on a new recipe, then it is time to take a serious grip.

Have a good week