Life is quite often about dualities. And the role of leaders is especially so.
Do I pay attention to executing today’s strategy or envisioning the future?
In the consulting world, do I focus my priorities on selling or delivering?
With expenses, do I prioritize product investment over sales/marketing investment?
And when it comes to leadership, do I inspire my people or drive performance out of them?
And the answer is always — no surprise, here — both. Unfortunately, it’s never easy to drop one part of the mix and still get a great market result. So as a company, you need to be both executing today and envision; selling and delivering; doing product investment while doing sales & marketing and inspiring people and driving performance.
All of it needs to happen. All of it. And fully.
But, here’s the catch. It doesn’t have to happen alone. Leaders need to hand over part of their responsibilities if they are to have space to think about the future. See @ev’s note as @dickc took on the CEO role.
And I’ve not met many leader who is both an inspiring visionary AND the one to drive performance to results. That’s why we have the term “good cop, bad cop”. It takes a multiplicity of roles to create one whole and good outcome.
While very few people endorse this as good practice, I recommend you think about what is your best and highest use to drive valuation in the firm, and do THAT. Make sure the other base is fully covered too. But do the thing you need to do because only when you do will the place thrive. Covering many fronts at the same time usually just leads to overly “done” fried-out folks and the core mission or goal (whether it is best development or best vision) is never done as well as it needs to be done.
Accept the duality but live in the focus of knowing what 1 thing you can best do.