Poor Leadership Defined: Playing Not To Lose

Great leaders resist short-term pressures and champion long-term visions

Why has business education failed business?

I have nothing against MBA’s. I’ve worked with plenty of them, from the best business schools. What I’ve found is that MBA’s are optimizers, not transformers; which tells you the answer to the above question.

As I’ve explained before, optimizers are focused on short-term; resist exploration and experimentation. And it’s not a secret that business has always been about incresing profits with minimum risk. Both of these truths are what go against transformation. And while the idea of ambidexterity, exploiting ones core business model and exploring new business models at the same time, is thrown out as a solution to all of this the truth is most organizations are not ambidextrous.

The reason?

Here’s your answer: In a survey 80% of CEOs said they’d pass up an investment that would fuel a decade of innovation if it meant they’d miss a quarter of earnings results.

This is poor leadership defined.

These leaders are focused on not losing what they have, rather than playing to win for the long-term. This pervasive attitude eventually cripples their organizations because the habit has been planted, and habits die hard.

I’ve always said innovation is a human nature challenge!

Great leaders resist short-term pressures and champion long-term visions

Innovative organizations are focused on both the short-term and long-term vision, reducing errors in the here and now while also exploring the future. They’re playing to win, not to lose, by finding the revolution before it finds them. They protect the future, not the past.

Hat tip to Adam Grant for the find!