Can You Have Success In Leadership Without Structure?

Structure is important

Last week I ended the week with some thoughts on the nature of “struggle” and how it interacts with the leadership process. Today I want to look at the nature of “structure” and how it interacts with leadership.

I have spent the last 4 years of my “day job” dealing with large-scale commercial real estate. I have been very fortunate to work on the largest commercial real estate project in all of North America. One of the things that was obvious, even to the inexperienced, was that without the proper structure, a building would collapse.

Bad things happen without proper structure.

The same is true in leadership and with organizational entities. Structure is vital.

Over the course of my coaching with various organizations, one thing I have found all too often. Organizations with a strong central leader often lack structure to the overall organization. Many times these organizations are led solely through the power and presence of a strong personality.

But is that enough? Is a strong central leader enough to carry an organization?

No! A strong, charismatic, powerful, energetic and magnetic leader can take an organization only so far. At some point there must be some structure put into place in order for the organization to move beyond the initial excitement phase and on to real sustained growth. Providing that structure is the role of a leader.

“But wait! I am just not a structured person!”

That is OK. Your role as a leader is ultimately to provide that structure. If you don’t possess those skills personally, then it is incumbent upon you to reach out and bring structured people into the organization and put them in key leadership roles. And then it is incumbent upon you to get out of their way and let them bring structure and order to the organization.

What is the leadership lesson here?

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