[January 2, 2019] It’s difficult enough to be a leader each day, but every person must also be involved in sustaining leadership. The trick is to be motivated and stay effective. A good friend of mine said many times that the daily grind of leadership is difficult and is what sets apart the good from the great.
“Getting an audience is hard. Sustaining an audience is hard. It demands a consistency of thought, of purpose, and of action over a long period of time.” – Bruce Springsteen, American singer, songwriter, leader (find him on Tweeter here)
Bruce Springsteen could just have been talking about leadership as it was of maintaining his musical greatness throughout four decades. He is one of the most famous singers, composers, and leaders of our generation. Bruce “the boss” Springsteen understands that enthusiasm is the sustaining power of all great action.
Sustaining leadership is not a new topic or one that has been outdated by current events. It means for all leaders to remain motivated and effective. But it also means learning how to keep it going tomorrow and perpetually. Here are a few ways to sustain your leadership:
- Have a grand vision and a strategy to achieve it. Sometimes the going gets tough. Leaders who have established a direction for their organization have the advantage of others who are there to support the leader. Each one has the back of the other because they are working toward a common goal.
- Know what’s necessary to win. Whether it’s a winning sports team, family, business, or community, knowing what’s important to them allows a leader to focus on what needs to be done to obtain it.
- Keep learning from the past. The successes and failures of others provide a leader with both the drive/energy/motivation and knowledge to succeed in times of normalcy or emergency.
- Create allies and networks. No leader can do it alone. The greatest leaders of all times were able to bring together radically different peoples to achieve a common goal. It required tremendous social-intellectual skills to convince others that they should ‘want’ to support that goal.
Sustaining leadership is not easy. That is why when we see great leaders, it is obvious to everyone. Those leaders have discovered the secret of great leadership over time is not bound by money, popularity, or luck but by hard work and reliance on inner motivation.