Like it or not, change is going to happen. Accept it or not, change is going to happen. Plan for it or not, change is going to happen. As it has been commonly noted, change is the one and only universal constant.
True leadership is about getting out in front of change, to lead it rather than being led by it. This means, of course, that mistakes are going to happen because the leader is always in unknown and risky territory. But it is there, in the precarious terrain of change, that fortunes are made and futures are secured.
A good leader understands this, accepts this, and plans for this. A strong leader anticipates change and plans for the inherit risks that comes with change. But a visionary leader creates the change every other leader must respond to. The visionary leader takes the ultimate risk.
History has shown that there are as many, if not more, leadership failures as there are leadership successes. But if it were easy, if success was guaranteed, then there would be no need for leaders. Anyone could do it. And in truth, anyone can. But they don’t. Only leaders lead. Only leaders are willing to take the chance, embrace the risk, and accept the outcome.
The renowned patriot and revolutionary thinker Patrick Henry captures the requirement for all leaders when in his famous “give me liberty or give me death” speech he said, “…the battle sir is not to the wise alone but to the vigilant, the active, the brave.”
Leaders aren’t necessarily smarter or wiser than others. They are not necessarily more talented or skilled than everyone else. The only thing they have that others do not is courage.