Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Style or substance

So long ago that I no longer remember where or when, I heard this statement: The measure of a leader is not the measure of the cause.

How many effective and charismatic leaders who lead evil causes does history tell us about? How many great causes were lead by flawed men?

Back when I was in the army, we played poker for recreation. We had a saying that the cards spoke for themselves. That is when you laid down your hand, it didn’t matter what you said you had, you actually had what the cards showed. And the qualities of the leader both good and bad are not the qualities of the cause, good or bad. The results of the cause, good or bad, speak for themselves and define that cause’s qualities.

We’ve all seen televangelists that preach a Christian life but don’t come close to living it themselves. Does their inability to meet their own standard make that standard less worthy? I think not. Just as someone’s idea is neither better nor worse because they present it poorly or well.

The same is true for business ideas. The idea is either good or bad on it’s own merits not on the quality of the presentation. If the life’s blood of your business is a product or service then improving either the product, the service, the efficiency of production or delivery is crucial to your survival.

If improving your product or service or even developing a new product or service is important to your business, you’ve got to spend the time to look beyond the presentation to find your next big thing or next great employee.