Leadership: Stacking the Deck

by Lee Buford on June 17, 2011

I am a firm believer in the adage that any team, company, or organization will rarely, if ever, rise above the level of its leadership. (Think on this where your family is concerned as well, Mom and Dad.)

For any leader who desires to shepherd a successful organization of people committed to achievement, this realization is of paramount importance. In other words, success or failure is riding on you, the approach you take, and your ability to bring others with you. It’s what leadership is all about, and most successful leaders employ a method (acronym) I refer to as STACKING the deck:

S= SET
A successful leader is the catalyst for his/her organization… the trigger, the one who sets the wheels in motion.

T = TRAJECTORY
Up, down, or status quo… What direction will things take under your leadership? There are really only two options: up is good, and status quo is down. Period.

A = ATTITUDE
Great leaders foster an environment where great attitudes drive success and the culture is synonymous with winning. Every day!

C = COMMUNICATION
Great communication is the lifeblood of any successful organization. Not just communication… Great communication! It’s just not optional.

K = KEY (Initiatives/Imperatives)
S
uccessful leaders have great game plans, and each individual knows what he or she is doing on every play. It’s all about execution here.

I = INTEGRITY
You either have it or you don’t, and your team knows which applies in your case. To lead successfully others must be willing to follow, and nobody willingly follows someone for whom they have no respect. This one is a no-debate!

N = NEWS
News is innovation, and you better be leading the charge on this one. New products, new ideas, new “whatever”… your competition is not sitting pat, and your people need fresh challenges and opportunities. Sitting still is falling behind. Innovate and grow.

G = GOALS
What is the ultimate goal, outcome, or result to be achieved? What does success look like? Great leaders define it with total clarity and put it out there for their people to go get. All of us want to know ultimately why we’re doing what we’re doing. What’s the goal?

So, in summary, “STACKING” the deck is successfully leading your organization by “setting a positive trajectory with the right attitude, communication, key initiatives, integrity, news, and goals.” It’s certainly not the only way to do it, but it will most certainly help you zone in on most of the key things it takes to do it well. The rest is up to you.

Set the trajectory and lead well. Our organizations are counting on you!

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