A Leadership Lesson

Is this you?

Leadership used to be about leading. I know. That sounds ridiculous. But it’s true.

Leadership used to be about taking us to a place of preeminence that we couldn’t reach on our own. It was about inspiration, imagination and courage.

Does that sound like the leader of your company?

Leadership today is more about managing mediocrity and avoiding risk. It’s more about the destination of the leader than those s/he is leading.

Part of it may be that Radio has rarely actually invested in real training for its management. GMs are often chosen because they know how to sell. But the ability to sell spots — to read a balance sheet — and real leadership are completely separate skills.

In my opinion, Radio needs leaders who do precisely what we have NOT been doing the past 20+ years.

We need leaders who are not about managing risk, and justifying mediocrity, as they cut budgets 2 or 3 times every year.

We need someone bold enough to try something different, like investing in the content between the songs, the only content we have that can be proprietary, the way content is created at HBO and Netflix and FX.

Will every idea work? Of course not. That’s when the leadership traits matter. That’s when leaders help us believe that just because this failed does not mean we shouldn’t try that.

Don’t look further up the chain of command and sadly shake your head in agreement. Look in the mirror.

Are you secure enough to have someone on your team who will challenge your decisions? Are you secure enough to challenge decisions made above your pay grade?

When you see greed and stupidity weakening your cluster do you stand up and protest or fall in line to protect yourself?

Do you inspire your own team to do their best possible work and give them the tools they need to achieve it?

Can you see where they need to be next year to reach their potential, exceeding their own expectations and hitting goals they never imagined were possible?

We need leaders who are more concerned about their people than they are about their bonus.

Do you have this sense of purpose?

Step forward. Please. We need you now.