Causality is the relationship between cause and effect, based on the principle that at some level, everything has a “cause.” Without question, causality is the overriding context in which business occurs.
Leaders in a causality context are answerable for “causing,” as well as generating “causing” in others. Whether valid or not, leaders are held accountable by their Board of Directors, investors, shareholders and the market for being “cause” in a given matter.
Besides being held responsible by others, highly successful leaders rigorously hold themselves accountable too. So, both from the inside and the outside, the leader is held as “cause.”
“Cause,” in a business-leadership context, is a verb. Cause/Causing: The power of a leader to incite and direct actions and create conditions that generate enterprise success.
Qualities & Characteristics of Successful Leader’s in a Causality Context
Successful Leaders hold themselves fully responsible as the causal agent.
Successful leaders realize they can’t produce results without action because action precedes all outcomes. Nothing happens without it. Successful leaders figure out how to cause the necessary actions to occur with and through others.
Successful leaders are keenly aware they need to start these actions in precisely the right direction. Like a rocket’s liftoff, action can miss the target by miles if it is off by the slightest degree at launch. Successful leaders realize they are the pilot that keeps the action on course.
Successful leaders understand in a causality context; cause cannot be achieved in others by command and control, domination or manipulation, all of which are some form of coercion. Coercion, whether overt or covert, never generates responsibility in others.
Successful leaders know, “you can’t make someone responsible.” Responsibility is a self-proclamation - a stand one takes for and by themselves. Successful leaders cause others to stand in that place where the declaration of responsibility is valid for them.
Successful leaders understand their job is to cause the existence of a culture where higher levels of truthfulness, full disclosure, and authenticity exist – beyond calibrating the processes, systems and milestones informed by the data.
Successful leaders cause the people around them to realize the value of self-awareness and self-development. They see and hear the leader do it every day.
Successful leaders cause the organization to operate consistently with their core values. The leader makes sure the core values are not just platitudes, clichés or bromides. Successful leaders cause core values to be held in high esteem, regarded profoundly and
Successful leaders understand the action of leadership is speaking. They understand what works in a causality context is a dialogue that evokes the required attention, intention and action.
Successful leaders know that when people hold themselves as the cause, management effectiveness is optimized.
Successful leaders get scared but take action anyway. Courage is always involved.
Successful leaders accept their fate - they will always be held to an elevated level of causality in the matter of other people's performance.
According to the law of cause and effect, everything the leader says or does has an impact. Everything others say and do has the leader’s fingerprints on it. Like it or not, the leader is perceived as the cause in the matter.
As a leader, the only way to withstand the inevitable pressure of being seen as cause is to hold yourself personally as cause. They can’t do it to you if you are already doing it yourself. There is no tension if you and the people holding you accountable are on the same page.
As a leader, you stand in a precarious place for what is happening out there. You are constantly assessing your responsibility for what is occurring. An uncomfortable, but powerful place successful leaders stand is, “I am cause in the matter.”
In this domain of cause, causality and responsibility, I’d like to acknowledge Werner Erhard, Michael Jensen, Steve Zaphron, Daniel Goleman, Roshi Suzuki, Rabbi Zalman Schacter, Fernando Flores, Arnold Siegle, Landmark Education, Wings Seminars, NLP and my client-leaders over the last 35 years for continually demonstrating the power and courage of holding themselves as cause in the matter.
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