Common Sense Leadership

Wooly Mammoth2
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Type leadership into Amazon’s search bar and you’ll be offered a list of more than 60,000 books on the topic. Books about what leadership is, what leadership isn’t, books about how to do leadership, books about great leaders (surprisingly very few books about poor leaders, which could probably double the number of titles if written) and everything in between. Charts, graphs, stats, research, and the ever popular “this is how I do it, you should too” meme. You’d think this is a complicated, complex topic that few can master (at least not without the help of the latest “guru”).

The fact is, leadership doesn’t have to be complicated. Common long-winded, complex definitions of leadership might help sell books, but they don’t necessarily make you a better leader.

Here’s the epiphany: leadership is simply getting things done through people. Ever since our ancestors discovered that working together was way more efficient than hunting a wooly mammoth alone, there have been individuals adept at getting things done through the actions of others. It is as simple, and as complex, as that.

Merriam-Webster defines common sense as “sound and prudent judgment based on a simple perception of the situation or facts.” We take a simple, but not simplistic, approach to leadership here at The Daedalus Group.

To be good leaders, supervisors and managers need to have a firm grasp on who they are, their purpose and the purpose of the team, and an understanding and appreciation for the members of the team. Values-based, purpose-driven, people-centric are the three principles of what we call the Daedalus Leadership Model. But it’s really just common sense. I don’t need a guru to tell me that if I’m inconsistent in the values I display and the decisions I make, I won’t be a good leader. I don’t need a fancy graph to tell me that if I don’t know what I want my team to accomplish, or can’t or don’t tell them, I probably won’t be effective. And it’s certainly not rocket science to realize that people are individuals with individual needs, preferences, and abilities and that if I take a “one size fits all” approach with them I will come up short.

As they say, the devil is in the details. But a common sense approach to leadership, we’ve found, is the best way to start.

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