Volumes of written, oral, and video information are available on business leadership. Active, competent leadership is critical to any enterprise, whether it’s a business, a military unit, a government entity, a church, a sports team, or charitable organization. None of the organizational competencies discussed here can be effective without the appropriate leadership.

Nevertheless, leadership by itself will never establish a profitable venture, win a war, solve a problem or build a legacy. Effective business leadership must be connected to competent skills and effective systems. A Weavers client has an absentee owner who visits the business after hours and spends little time monitoring the daily activities of the business. Over the past four years the revenues have fallen by 50% and profits have virtually disappeared. A comment from one of the key employees was; “Jim (the owner) is the most clueless employee we have.”

Truly effective leadership begins with big picture focus and maintaining a finger on the pulse of the business and the industry. The leader in any enterprise needs to understand how his or her enterprise fits in their customers’ lives and the global marketplace. When that picture is clearly in focus, leadership needs to have the discipline and critical thinking needed to navigate the challenges facing the organization by anticipating problems and opportunities and preparing proactively to take advantage of them. Leadership must be involved in planning and disciplined decision-making. Leadership must manage risk and the resources at their disposal to maximize profitability and growth and ensure the continued viability of the enterprise. Leadership needs to establish measurements of performance in every area and then hold the people and systems accountable to the desired outcomes.