"People want leaders who are honest, competent, forward-looking, and inspiring...People willingly follow only those who know what they are doing. One of the quickest ways for a leader to lose trust and commitment of followers is to demonstrate incompetence...Character and competence, the Be and the Know, underlie everything a leader does. But character and knowledge - while absolutely necessary - are not enough. Leaders act; they Do...They solve problems, overcome obstacles, strengthen teamwork, and achieve objectives. They use leadership to produce results."
I completely agree with what is said here, and maybe part of it has to do with spending 4 years in the U.S. Army as a grunt following leaders like my brother, who was an Army officer for about 10 years.
A leader who cannot produce results is not a leader anyone wants to follow. A leader who does not actually do, who does not actually solve problems, is not a leader at all. It's just the same in business as it is in the Army or in war. No IT person really respects the IT executive or leader who knows nothing more than how to delegate. How can an IT leader or ANY business leader all the way up to the top, CEO or chairman, actually get people to follow him if they do not demonstrate that they can do more than simply manage or delegate?
Look closely at any struggling or failing company, and you'll see what I'm talking about. In my 17 years in IT, 13 years in executive management, I've seen competent, inspiring leaders, and I've seen utterly incompetent, pathetic leaders. Sadly, I've seen far too much of the latter in recent years.
"... being a leader requires little more than honesty and competence."
Wow, I know how to lead, partly from watching my brother, but I've never seen the necessities of successful leadership ever, put so simply.
"No one is only a leader; each person in an organization is also a follower and part of a team. In fact, the old distinction between leaders and followers has blurred; complex twenty-first-century organizations require individuals to move seamlessly from one role to another in an organization, from leadership to `followership,' and back again."
If nothing else, this book is absolutely required reading for any leader, IT people included, for a foundation of success.