“Who the **** is in charge around here?” This question left an absolutely indelible impression on my mind since I first heard it more than 30 years ago.  Our unit was experiencing its first inspection by a Sergeant Major whose reputation definitely preceded him…It took him all of about 3 seconds ask “who the **** is in charge around here?” He then proceeded to communicate in no uncertain terms that he wasn’t nearly as concerned about the faults he gostaria encontrar, como ele era sobre como nosso líder (adivinhe quem?) poderia ter permitido que eles ocorressem em primeiro lugar.

Foi nesse exato momento que percebi que o fator mais importante para determinar se algo será bem-sucedido ou não é quem tem a responsabilidade de fazê-lo acontecer.

I’m always amazed at the number of organizations that charge sub-par leaders with mission critical tasks and then wonder why they failed to meet their objectives. The most important decision a leader can make with regard to any implementation, initiative, project, objective, goal, task, etc. is who they are going to put in charge? As much as it may be politically incorrect to say so, it’s not nearly as much about the team, as it is the leader’s ability to assemble and lead the team. In all but the rarest of circumstances, teams simply don’t function well in the absence of sound leadership. In fact, in most cases I’d go so far as to say that in the absence of leadership you might be able to assemble a group of people, but said group will not function as an effective team on it’s own accord.

The only exceptions I’ve witnessed that contradict my observations mentioned above are situations where a purpose-aligned execution based on the desire to give selflessly in service exists. This normally occurs in crisis/emergency/volunteer situations – for an example of this please read Wally Bock’s excellent post . No entanto, mesmo nestas circunstâncias liderança pessoal ainda está na vanguarda do sucesso.

Se você examinar equipes atléticas de sucesso, equipes militares, equipes executivas, equipes de gerenciamento, equipes técnicas, equipes de design, equipes funcionais ou qualquer outra equipe, descobrirá que os melhores dos melhores têm estrutura, hierarquia de liderança, compreensão das funções, responsabilidades e expectativas, linhas de comunicação claras e abertas, protocolo de decisão bem estabelecido e muitos outros princípios-chave. Simplificando; as equipes mais produtivas têm a melhor liderança.

To further my point, you can examine any organization and you’ll consistently find that the the best performing units have the best leadership, and the worst performing units have leadership challenges to overcome. Furthermore, in well run organizations you can determine which initiatives are most important to the enterprise by examining which leaders are tasked to what initiatives. Great organizations assign their best leaders to the most significant opportunities and/or to correct key shortcomings (see previous post: Recursos 101 para CEOs).

Bottom line…personal responsibility and accountability have always been the ultimate leadership “hot potato” in that everyone wants to be in charge, but few are willing to take ownership of the never-ending obligations that go along with the privilege of leadership. If the individuals placed in charge of executing key objectives, deliverables & results are not excellent leaders, you are simply setting yourself up for failure. The strongest argument for great leadership is what happens in its absence…very little.