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Published:August 26th, 2008 11:55 EST
Where are the Leaders When you Need Them?

Where are the Leaders When you Need Them?

By Joel G. Block (Mentor/Columnist)

Vacuum of Leadership

I have been riveted watching the Olympics, like so many others around the world. Rooting for the many different countries has been fun; it spreads loyalty and camaraderie, just exactly the way the founding fathers of the Olympics perceived it.

Last week I was watching track and field, and as I was watching some of the finest athletes on the face of the planet who represent the United States, I saw them fail in their attempt to deliver medals to the United States arsenal.

Interestingly enough, the failure of these great athletes is not blamed on the individual athletes. Instead, it`s based on the leadership who runs the United States team. The people in charge of the track and field team have somehow failed their athletes in a dramatic way, and that will be explored over the coming days, weeks, and months.

Similarly, businesses work exactly the same way. In one of my current engagements, I am part of a team of people who are running a newly acquired business and consequently, roles have not been carefully established. There are six very talented, very committed people who are on this team. Each one, although well meaning, has his own agenda about what should happen and how to move forward with the initiatives of the company.

One of the gentlemen is a wonderful salesman. He has great contacts and he knows the space that we are operating in like nobody else, yet he isn`t making the kind of sales that we expect. The reason is simply his lack of focus. But I am very clear with people who are on the team that the failure of any of our team members is a failure of our management.

In this situation, we have a vacuum of management that needs to be addressed and a lesson can be taken either from the Olympics or it can be taken from business: Great performers can`t perform great if they are not focused and if the leadership is not doing an exceptional job of pointing them in the right direction.

So, as you are working hard every day to build your company, or as you`re building your career, make sure that you are focusing the people around you on the right initiatives for your company. Make sure that you are doing great planning. As they say, "plan your work and work your plan." Otherwise, you`ll have brilliant people who are moving in so many directions that nothing important actually gets accomplished.

About Joel G. Block, President of Growth-Logic, Inc.
Often dubbed a "Growth Architect" by his clients, Joel Block advises companies on explosive growth strategies by driving revenue and sales. Well known in the capital markets, Joel is a successful entrepreneur, speaker and advisor. To bring Joel into your company, please visit or Also, be sure to check out our newest project: a blog to organize the blogs that cover entrepreneurship - And finally, for film makers: - our newest project.