The Stakes-Gap Leadership Virus

Your leadership will suffer if you don't identify and kill this virus.

By Brent Filson - 06/09

Most learning leaders, most leaders for that matter, suffer from a deadly virus. It's a virus of the mind; and when it infects your thinking, your job performance suffers.

I call it the stakes-gap virus.

All leadership challenges come with stakes. Stakes are what will be gained or lost if certain actions are or aren't taken. A stakes gap exists when you and the people you need to take action differ over the stakes involved in that action.

Until stakes gaps are identified and closed, you can't lead people to get great results.

Identifying the virus is relatively easy. Killing it is another matter.

For example, let's say you want people to run. If they themselves want to run, you don't have a stakes gap.

However, if they want to walk, you ask them: "What are the stakes if we run? What are the stakes if we walk?"

If you and they disagree on the stakes, you have identified a stakes-gap virus. The way you kill the virus is to close the gap. Unless that gap is closed, you cannot motivate them to make the choice to run.

Killing the virus, closing that gap, may not be easy. Here is an 8 Step Process to close stakes gaps.

Copyright 2009, The Filson Leadership Group, Inc.

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