Welcome to the Locked On Leadership blog. My name is Dave Rosenberg and I am a Leadership and Tactical Business Specialists. After leaving the U.S. Navy in 1993, where I worked with some of the best men I have ever met, I entered business and ended up owning a couple of companies and running several more. One of the biggest challenges I had when making the transition for military to civilian life was realizing that I had tangible skills that are not only marketable in the civilian sector but also quite rare. I call these skills Tactical Leadership.
Tactical Leadership is distinctly different than the business leadership you read about. Typically, when you read about business leadership, you are reading about Strategic Leadership. This is leadership from the 30,000-foot level. It involves great vision and big picture charisma. Don’t get me wrong, strategic leadership is more than important, it is vital. Without it, tactical leadership is worthless. However, the converse is also true, strategic goals without the tactical plans to achieve them are useless.
Tactical Business Leadership is one way your organization can ensure that it develops the tactical plans necessary to achieve your strategic goals. So what is tactical leadership? First, let me tell you what it is not. Tactical Leadership, or any leadership for that matter, is not a talent. Talents are innate abilities with which we are born. A singer may have perfect pitch; a martial artist exceptional coordination or a painter a natural eye for color. If one is born tone deaf, with a neuromuscular problem, or color blind that person may never become a great singer, athlete or visual artist. However, that doesn’t mean they can’t learn to sing, sports fight or paint. It just means they have to work harder at it then the person with those gifts. Leadership is no different, there are talents that make becoming a leader easier but it is still a skill all can learn. Just like singing, playing sports or painting is a skill.
As skills go, Leadership is complex. When I say “complex skill” what I mean is that there are basics that one must learn that are then combined to become more involved skills. These more involved skills then become further combined into compound techniques. An analogy may be learning the skill of writing. When we teach our children to write we don’t start off asking them to write a novel. We start with the basics, which in writing is the alphabet. Children first learn their letters, then they learn to combine those letters into words. Once they have some rudimentary words the combine them into simple sentences. These sentences are combined into paragraphs and then stories. All the while we go back to learning more words, then more complex sentences, then more complex paragraphs and stories. Some of us fall out along the way and others turn into great writers.
Leadership is no different, there are basics and more complex skills. Each builds on its predecessor and great leaders shift through these stages with the same ease of a ballerina moving through a pad de deux.
In the coming weeks, months and years, I will provide insight, based on my 30 years of experience, into what it takes to improve your tactical leadership skills. I will break the complex skill of leadership down into its constituent parts and provide specific actions and behaviors that will build your leadership muscles, inspire your team and allow you to reach your strategic goals, whatever they may be.