I’m currently reading Geoff Smart’s new book Leadocracy. Smart’s thesis is that government’s, particular local and state governments, suffer from a lack of well-trained, private sector-experience leaders. His aim is to start a movement that encourages such leaders to enter government. While it’s light on research or advice for leaders, the book does present an interesting framework that Smart calls the “The As of Leading.” He argues that all leaders are called upon to do three things:
“Analyzing–Figuring out what outcomes are desired and how to achieve them.
Allocating–Establishing a plan to concentrate scarce resources, like money, time, and people, toward their highest and best uses, and away from areas of waste.
Aligning–Influencing people to behave in a coordinated way, accordingly to the plan, to achieve the desired outcome.” (Smart, 2012, p. 38)
I’ve been ruminating over this framework for a few days now and I really like it. We have a variety of models, frameworks and acronyms for leadership. However, most tend to over-emphasize the role of influence and underemphasize the importance of analysis and resource allocation. Many downgrade such activities as “management” but they do so at their peril. Smart’s three “As” balance out the vital functions of leadership in a clear, but concise manner.
What do you think? Does this framework leave anything out?
|David Burkus is the editor of LDRLB. He writes, speaks, and serves on the faculty of management at Oral Roberts University’s College of Business.|