It takes a combination of logic, emotion, and action to be a successful leader. Having just one of the three will cause serious problems for you. Even having two of the three will leave you vulnerable in many ways. Whether you call it being a resilient person, or having GRIT (Growth, Resilience, Instinct, and Tenacity as Paul Stoltz does in his book by that title), a leader needs to make informed decisions and must inspire people to take the appropriate actions. Let’s look at it’s application to leaders in all areas of the 7 Forces.
First, let’s look at the three items. Consider the person that does not think and does not have an emotional appreciation for the results of his actions. That person, might be called “The Fool.” The person that looks at thinks logically, without emotion and is frozen, unable to take action, might be called, “The Thinker.” The person that frets over everything and imagines all the worst, without thinking it through and without taking action, might be called, “The Drama Queen.” Then there are those that have two of the three. A person that takes Action with Emotion, but without Logic is a Risk Taker and not playing the odds. They are gut-oriented, instinct-oriented people. The person that can think it through Logically and take Action, but does not have Emotion, is not engaged and just going through the motions. It reminds me of the verse in the bible (1 Corinthians 13) suggesting if I have not love, a strong emotion, then I have nothing. They are the “Dispassionator.” The leader that can think it through Logically and is engaged Emotionally, but unable to take Action is called the “Stagnator.” Only the leader with all three—Logic, Emotion, Action—is the “Mover & Shaker” that knows what needs to be done and can inspire people to take the necessary action.
Now, let’s look at this in light of the 7 Forces.
The dispassionate manager sits in the office, never befriends employees and refuses to listen to excuses. The stagnator won’t last long in any position. They are able to sell you on something, but not able to deliver the goods. People will follow the risk taker for a time, but will learn it is not in their best interest.
Supply Chain and Outsourcing
When a problem occurs with a supplier, the risk taker understands and is quick to act. But, often as not, they make the problem worse, since they don’t think it through using something like an 8D problem solving approach. The dispassionator focuses on the problem, ignoring the emotion. They may plod along rather than acting urgently. The stagnator is worse, listening and understanding your logic, being sensitive to your emotions, but refusing to take action—probably blaming the problem on your company rather than accepting responsibility or working together to solve the problem.
Sales and Marketing Channels
The dispassionate customer is here today and gone tomorrow. They have no emotional connection to your product and probably buy on price or convenience. The stagnator customer takes up all your time, but never places an order, always providing another objection. The risk taker customer might seem to be your friend, taking a chance on you. Be careful that they pay you in the end.
The stagnator competitor would rather see you lose than them win. If involved in standards activities that could help an entire industry, they will block progress. The dispassionate competitor may be backed by private equity or venture capitalists that are out for a fast, financial return. They may care more about the short game than being around in the end. The risk taker competitor is similar and likely to take actions that boost their company, but destroy business. They might cut prices to gain market share, destroying value in the process.
Risk of Disruption
When a flood occurs in your business, you don’t want a stagnator to think it through, express pain and regret, but do nothing to clean up the mess. The dispassionator is good initially for cleaning up the mess, but may not be able to keep people working through it all. People need to be appreciated for the work they do and need to be given time to grieve over the things they lost. It could be something as simple as a family picture on their desk. The risk taker moves fast, but is likely to make matters worse rather than better.
Market Constraints and Government
Government may seem like nothing more than a group of stagnators that do nothing after thinking it through and expressing their emotion in countless speeches. The dispassionate government leaders are unlikely to be able to work with others and won’t get re-elected. The risk takers will be satisfying, but will run up the debt to be paid by future generations.
The risk takers will implement technology for the sake of technology, creating the wrong kinds of emotions in people. The dispassionators in IT will take hours to reprogram your computer and never say a thing about being sorry it is taking so long. They will probably tell you it is your fault for installing that unauthorized piece of software you use daily. The stagnators will have you using old software that is now difficult to use and support.
Combine Logic, Emotion, and Action in your leadership. If you are lacking in one area, surround yourself with one or more others that are stronger in your area of weakness. When emotions get high, use a little logic to find an area of agreement. When action is lacking, use logic and emotion to inspire people to act. When everyone is moving fast, they probably are not pulling together and moving in the same direction. Use a little logic and emotion to get your team working together.