Someone just mentioned to me that we cannot be good leaders if we are scared to fail. If we are scared to fail, we will always only dare to do what our followers or our target audience(s) are happy for us to do.
If leadership is making good things happen that on their own would not happen, a leader who will only do things their followers want them to do is, by definition, a defective or deficient leader.
Of course we should only be doing what would be good for our followers, certainly for the long term, if not for the short term. We are looked upon as leaders because we are able to guide and show the way to our people to get to some place or something better than what they have today.
Sometimes our people can imagine that where they will get to is a good situation or a better place. But oftentimes they are not able to imagine what they have not yet experienced, or what they have not seen with their own eyes.
This is the challenge to leaders: How to have our people come along when they are not sure where they are going to get to. It is a challenge that is both an honour and a privilege, and it is a challenge that can be successfully undertaken only if the leader has first established a relationship of trust and honour with his or her people.
The British elite military unit, the Special Air Service, has as its motto “Who Dares Wins”. Indeed, at least twelve other elite military special forces around the world have the same motto. The same motto should drive leaders to lead.
Leaders need imagination of what is possible and desirable, tenacity to strive to attain the goal, and the courage to do what others dare not because they are held back by fear of people or fear of failure. Leaders also need humility to learn from others and to learn from failure.
No leader is perfect. Any leader who thinks he is perfect has set himself up for failure – especially when many people will be watching, and wishing, for them to fail.
“Who Dares Wins.” Leaders need to be Hungry to Win. Leaders need to have the ITCH (Imagination, Tenacity, Courage and Humility) to win.