I heard someone say that the best leaders have a constant mild case of paranoia. To me this means the following for those organizations that have leadership teams who fit the description:
- They look for every opportunity to grow, but only pursue the opportunities that will benefit their customers, team members, and all other stakeholders
- They put systems in place to ensure they are providing exponential customer service
- They set quantifiable goals, and then consistently inspect performance
- They hold everyone in their organization accountable for setting goals, achieving goals, and for delivering exponential service to all customers (external and internal)
- They invite feedback and have good self-awareness regarding internal improvements needed
- They are the best in their industry, yet remain humble. They don’t forget to celebrate, but never celebrate too long.
- They consistently investigate the competition and position themselves to win
- They always do something about their gut feelings
Being too optimistic or paranoid will lead to bad results. Leaders really need a good dose of optimism, and then in order to plan (ask all the right questions to formulate a sound and actionable plan) and execute (working with the best people, and inspecting what we expect), they have to be comfortable living with a mild case of paranoia.