Myths present a different, subtler trap, which is what makes even smart people fall for them. They are usually based on a plausible half-truth, and they do not immediately lead you astray if you start to act on them. It’s only with the passage of time that you realise that you’ve made a mistake, but by then your wrong choices can’t be unmade and the damage is done.
Visionary leadership is widely seen as key to strategic change. That’s because visionary leadership does not just set the strategic direction — it tells a story about why the change is worth pursuing and inspires people to embrace the change. But research finds that the positive impact of visionary leadership breaks down when middle managers aren’t aligned with top management’s strategic vision. This can cause strategic change efforts to slow down or even fail.
Many leaders have faced a choice between getting the reward or doing the right thing. The slippery slope starts right when you begin to rationalize actions and tell yourself and others, “This is an exceptional situation,” or “We have to bend the rules a little to get things done here,” or “We are here to make money, not to do charity.”
These initial slips cascade into more, which turn into habits you know are bad but which start to feel excusable and even acceptable, given the circumstances, and eventually, become part of your moral fabric. It is hard to pinpoint exactly when an important line is crossed, but it’s much easier to course-correct at the very start of the slippery slope than when you are gliding full speed away from what is right.
If “the essence of strategy is choosing what not to do,” as Michael Porter famously said in a seminal HBR article, then the essence of execution is truly not doing it. That sounds simple, but it’s surprisingly hard for organizations to kill existing initiatives, even when they don’t align with new strategies. Instead, leaders keep layering on initiatives... Read the article here