In a card game, the dealer shuffles a deck of cards and deals a card out to each player. The players don’t know what cards they have until they pick up their cards and turn each card over to assess its value.
Just like card players, oftentimes, leaders don’t know what resources they have to work with in a given situation. Leaders must assess the situation to get a snap-shot of the tools they have available…and then they have to put these tools to work at the highest level of benefit.
The key to being an effective leader is to take the resources you have and to squeeze every bit of value and efficiency from them, thereby utilizing available resources to the fullest extent possible – that’s the hallmark of a true leader.
Leaders are often faced with a set of circumstances that must be shaped to accomplish a specific mission. These circumstances may be less than ideal; however, the leader should not spend precious time wishing for better circumstances because to do so is counter-productive, self-defeating, and inevitably leads to wasted time and resources.
The business philosopher, Jim Rohn, stated, “Don’t wish for better circumstances - wish you were better equipped, more skilled, and more qualified.” Mr. Rohn went on to say that the situation or circumstances you face are the only things you have to work with…don’t give up on the only tools or resources you have…that would leave you with nothing to work with.
You cannot always control the situation you find yourself in, but you can control how you choose to respond to the situation. How you respond is a key factor in whether or not you will succeed. You can choose to complain and feel sorry for yourself because of the situation or you can choose to take what you have, move forward, and achieve your purpose – it’s your choice.
Over time, the leader will shift focus from making do with the bare minimum to creatively acquiring additional tools and resources to assist in accomplishing the mission. Leaders work in the present, yet keep an eye on the future and the direction they are taking the organization. As the leader builds a strong foundation, more resources will be made available – early success definitely breeds more success.
As leaders focus on growing, expanding, and building their organizations, they don’t make excuses about their predicament. They are eternally hopeful and optimistic about the future – which infuses their followers with the same enthusiasm. The bottom-line is that the mission must be accomplished, so the leader must either find a way or make a way, regardless of the situation or circumstances.