"Each one of us can make a difference. Together we make change." Barbara Mikulski
The really gifted leaders do it because they have a passion to make a difference, to, as Steve Jobs once said "..make a dent in the universe." Leaders owe that level of caring and commitment to their employees and organizations so together they can do the challenging things necessary to make the change that Barbara Mikluski spoke about. Without it, the true potential of people and organizations can't be realized.
We see them every day. Companies that are on auto pilot, doing the same things they have done for years, even decades. Their people are going through the motions, showing up, marking time, getting by, and living lives of quiet desperation. A few businesses may even be profitable in the near term, but the life has left them and they are getting by on borrowed time. In government and the not-for-profit worlds, the distorting effects of free money can delay inevitable failure for decades, absent a public and catastrophic event. But even that may not reverse the trend and those organizations continue to plod along. We hear about these organizations almost daily in the news; OPM, Veterans Affairs, and others.