Too often, leaders choose to be “Humvee leaders.” They are so worried about quickly making progress that no regard is given to intent, probability of success or the hazards encountered along the way. This style of leader typically has little regard for the destruction they leave in their path or the people they harm along the journey.
Today, I witnessed a convoy traveling down an Afghan road. From the opposite direction, two Humvees from another nation sped by at 5-times the speed limit. The vehicles left a dust storm in their wake which forced the opposing convoy team to a standstill, unable to see their objective or continue their progress. The speeding Humvee considered their task, their mission more important than everyone around them. To the misfortune of the careening Humvee crew, their path was about to experience a 90° left turn. Although you might think little of a sharp turn, this one was vital because it navigated traffic around an active minefield. Faster than the dust storm which stopped progress everyone around their path, the radios erupted with frantic chatter…the Humvee had failed to navigate the turn and was now flipping end over end through active land mines.
- Employ controlled aggression
- Only take deliberate, calculated risks
- Know it is more important to be best than the first
- Always analyze risk/reward of every action or inaction
- Never value their success over that of those around them
Dynamic Leaders do not push their team to the point of tumbling through a minefield
Dynamic Leaders know business, like war, is full of land mines. They never push themselves, their followers or the organization beyond the speed at which inherent safety can be insured to the maximum degree while maintaining positive change and progress. Dynamic Leaders do not push their team to the point of tumbling through a minefield!
Well, let’s go right to the top. We’ve had some Presidential leaders (I’ll not mention any names) who have disregarded what’s best for the people because they were more interested in their agenda.
It happens in corporate life all the time. I’ve witnessed leaders who always wanted everyone to push the “petal-to-the-metal,” all the time. It resulted in burnout and resentment. Ultimately, it resulted in open conflict. The leader was fired.
Agree, Full-speed all the time does not build the team or encourage teamwork…just hard feelings.
Every decision or indecision should be analyzed for cost/benefit. The agenda of a particular leader should never be valued over that of the collective.
Agreed. And, I would emphasize that the agenda is determined by the mission.
” (Dynamic Leaders) Never value their success over those around them.” — This point caught my eye. It’s the essence of leadership, I think, and sadly, it’s missing from the mainstream.
Clearly, this motto is not shared in Congress; nor at Toyota, nor at GM. Correct me if I am wrong, but it sounds like Humvee “leaders, blindly roll right over their own teammates (and clients or constituents!) with blunt force.
As adults, we don’t need to sing Kumbaya and agree on every issue. But leaders can lead by example, with respect, dignity and measured responses. Not everyone is cut out to be a leader.
Leadership should not be a popularity contest…
A good leader gives positive feedback and makes popular decisions.
A Dynamic Leader gives negative feedback and makes the tough calls when necessary.
“Dynamic Leaders do not push their team to the point of tumbling through a minefield!”
This is a great article — now that I’m in the civilian world I see the opposite of this all the time. Business Leaders push out products that aren’t ready for market (the mine field) and allow the soldier to deal with the mine field unprepared and with no back up.
“Never value their success over that of those around them”
Then I watch our national leaders, regardless of party, make decisions based on either political correctness or political gain, not what’s “Right for America”. The more that I study the political scene the more disgusted I am with all of it. The Founding Fathers created a pretty good plan for success. These men knew honor and knew mankind and did their best to create something great. It makes me sad to see what going on and has been going for years. There’s no one to blame but ourselves. We elected politicians not leaders.
Where is the next George Washington?
Is this a lack of empathy, impulsive behavior or a deficit in problem solving skills?
Should these skills be taught or is this humvee approach a fixed set of character traits?
I think the humvee approach is a variable set of character traits and can be seen in varying degrees in overly aggressive or selfish individuals in leadership roles. What should be taught, and must be learned, is the ability to control aggression, value the team over yourself and how to take on calculated and deliberate risks for your organization.