leaderThe most successful leader of the 20th century was Winston Churchill. But for twelve years, from 1928 until Dunkirk in 1940, he was totally on the sidelines, almost discredited—because there was no need for a Churchill. Things were routine or, at any rate, looked routine. When the catastrophe came, thank goodness, he was available. Fortunately or unfortunately, the one predictable thing in any organization is the crisis. That always comes. That’s when you do depend on the leader.

The most important task of an organization’s leader is to anticipate crisis. Perhaps not to avert it, but to anticipate it. To wait until the crisis hits is already abdication. One has to make the organization capable of anticipating the storm, weathering it, and in fact, being ahead of it. That is called innovation, constant renewal. You cannot prevent a major catastrophe, but you can build an organization that is battle-ready, that has high morale, and also has been through a crisis, knows how to behave, trusts itself, and where people trust one another. In military training, the first rule is to instill soldiers with trust in their officers, because without trust they won’t fight.

Drucker, Peter F. (2010-09-07). Managing the Non-Profit Organization: Principles and Practices (Kindle Locations 278-283). HarperCollins. Kindle Edition.

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