In an aircraft there is one pilot-in-command or PIC. Now there may be more than one pilot on the flight deck, but there is one and only one PIC, and he is the person ultimately responsible for the direction, operation, and safe operation of the aircraft. The crew and passengers look to the PIC to make the right decisions and get the flight to its destination safely and on time.
This PIC concept is also true in business leadership. In a well-run, successful company, there is one senior leader in charge, leading the way, providing vision, direction and guidance. What are the results without a clear vision or strong leader? Low productivity, unhappy employees, and chaos up and down the organizational chart.
Too many “leaders” are actually functioning as managers. They’ve allowed themselves to be dragged down into the minutiae of day-to-day tasks, focused on making the month, or in some cases, just doing it themselves to be sure “it gets done right.” But that’s a mid-level managers role. It’s certainly not the role of the PIC.
Leaders see the big picture, set the pace and make decisions. They build a vision, work to develop a strategy of supporting actions, and then ensure those actions are aligned and executed according to the vision.
Leaders make sure they have the right people to get the job done. The key is not just getting everybody on the bus; leaders make sure everybody is in the right seat on that bus.
Managers implement; they manage tasks, handle day-to-day operations. They perform very valuable functions throughout the organization.
Managers are a support function and are certainly able to lead their teams. But they’re not the pilot-in-command. That’s you. Are you ready?
In my work with CEOs and senior leadership teams, my job often involves helping some of these executives transition from managers to leaders. In fact, I often spend as much time teaching them what NOT to do as I do in mentoring them through what to do.
And mentoring is always a key component in making the transition to leading. There is always an encouragement aspect to excellent leadership, a quiet time for coaching.
If you can capture the enthusiasm of a potential leader, harness their energy in the development and communication of a vision, and then watch them soar, it’s very rewarding on both sides.
Do you have a clear and concise vision? Do you remember why you started your business in the first place?
Your job as leader is to communicate that vision each and every day. Your team needs to know not only the direction you’re moving as an organization, but also the destination you’re striving towards.
You as the leader have the unique opportunity to set the future path for your organization, rally the team in working towards a common clear goal and leading them to success, one step at a time.
As the pilot-in-command, accept the challenge, take the controls and lead your organization in moving forward!