A Leader’s Roadmap Part 10

(Intro from Part 1: Businesses are becoming more complex. It’s harder to predict outcomes because intricate systems interact in unexpected ways.

Staying on track is much easier with a guide or checklist. Michael Useem, a professor at The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and bestselling author of The Leadership Moment, has published The Leader’s Checklist to create a clear roadmap for navigating any situation. I will present in the blog in condensed form, with sample questions accompanying each principle.)

10. Dampen Over-Optimism: To balance the hubris of success, focus attention on latent threats and unresolved problems. Protect against managers’ tendency to engage in unwarranted risk.

Many leaders have learned to reframe personal and team setbacks by stating: “There are no mistakes, only learning opportunities”—and it’s a great sentiment. In practice, however, their companies often continue to view failures in the most negative light.

a. Have you prepared the organization for unlikely, but extremely consequential, events?
b. Do you celebrate success, but also guard against the byproduct of excess confidence?
c. Have you paved the way not only for quarterly results, but for long-term performance?


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