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Diligence

July 9, 2011
Leadership Advisory

Diligence is important in unfavorable times.

Diligent leaders have the ability to bring consistent energy and effort to their work.  They bridle the urgent demands with a single-mindedness on strategic movement while carefully and persistently increasing their work.

A leader recently learned through 360˚ feedback that his peers perceived him as having slacked off in his commitment.  They noted that he wasn’t demonstrating hard work or putting himself out to address the economic challenges of his office.  He explained his behavior as a result of the economic downturn saying, business just wasn’t there.

During unfavorable conditions diligent leaders show up with greater persistence and determination.  In the words of Jim Collins, they “display a workmanlike diligence – more plow horse than show horse.” They refuse to use these harsh economic realities as reason to coast.

The characteristics of diligence are:

1. Demonstration of energy and physical stamina required to get things done in the midst of long and extreme conditions.

2. Insistence on making every hour of every day productive.  It’s more than good time management, it’s expanding capacity for leveraging resources and activity.

3. Follow-through on commitments made.  Leaders who fail to deliver on commitments forfeit the right to be followed.

Research indicates that 95% of leaders and managers are not living up to their potential. Extreme times call for extreme leadership.  How will you show up?

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