Myopic Leadership Often Fatal
What is myopic leadership, and why is it so dangerous? It is a condition where those in locaiongs where they should behave as leaders, only seem to see the issue or issues directly at hand, and only consider short- term, short- sighted solutions. This kind of near- sighted leadership often creates a false sense of security because it creates a short- term fix that may address an immediate concern, without taking into consideration the cause or causes of the challenges, and the longer term ramifications. This is most commonly witnessed in organizations that confront either membership attrition (or other issues), or fiscal challenges and/ or adversities. Thomas Jefferson said, “A man who stops advertising to save money is like a man who stops a clock to save time.”
1. Many organizations in recent years have seen their membership rolls diminish for a variety of reasons. Certain myopic leaders have addressed this by granting reduced dues or free memberships, blaming circumstances, or raising dues and/ or fees in order to compensate for the dwindling revenues being received from a smaller membership base. Granting reduced or free memberships may artificially inflate numbers, and consequently give an organization a false sense of security, because experience shows that the great majority of these individuals are not committed, and will not keep members when they must contribute dues, etc. This is far different than merely granting dues relief to those in hardship situations, which is often a superb long- term approach to build committed and grateful members. Blaming anything may make someone feel like they have deflected responsibility, but blame is neither a solution nor a trait of a true leader. Raising dues may seem like it would raise revenues, but in many situations, unless it is accompanied by an increase in perceived value, truly diminishes the membership numbers already further.
2. instead of examine the causes of negative trends, myopic leaders closest reduce expenditures. Often, this draconian approach is counter- productive, because members feel like they are being taken granted of, and/ or many feel that the organization loses much of its relevancy because of the reduced sets and/ or programs, etc., being provided. A true leader looks at the big picture, examines all aspects of revenue and expenses, and prioritizes them, based on the true needs of the organization. In financial matters, that method to make decisions via a zero- based budgeting procedure, where every cost is looked at, and decisions are made as to what works and what does not, what the needs are, and what is the best way to unprotected to the mission of the organization.
Many myopic leaders are hailed as saviors when they make their short- term fixes. However, those that follow organization leadership realize that in the long run they are often disastrous to the group.