Revolutionary Leadership


"Revolutionary Leadership--A declaration of war against the status quo."by Dr. David P. Robinson

Joe Louis Clark is best known for his revolutionary leadership as the principal of East Side High School in Paterson, NJ, one of the toughest inner city schools in America during the 80s.  He is also the subject of the 1989 movie, Lean on Me, starring Morgan Freeman.

Clark gained attention for his unconventional and controversial disciplinary measures.  He received both praise and criticism as most strong leaders do.

Joe Clark was able to do what his predecessors could not--restore and maintain order without abandoning the students who needed his revolutionary leadership the most.

All great leaders are revolutionaries.  They constantly challenge the status quo by asking:  Are we doing the right things to advance the vision?  If so, can we do more and do them better?  More importantly, when they spot something that needs changed, they inspire the team to change it!

Revolutionary leaders are good at two things.  First, they define current reality on a daily basis, not periodically.  Second, they take action by mobilizing appropriate team responses.  This is harder than most average leaders are willing to undertake.

Why are some former great organizations, businesses and churches in deep trouble today while others are stronger than ever?  Why?  Because they had managers posing as leaders who either were afraid of significant change or could not inspire the team to make them.

Executing change is not for weak or intimidated leaders.  It requires inspiring your team to rise above conventional wisdom, weeding out the resisters and stopping the superfluous work that takes time but accomplishes little.

Revolutionaries are not rebels but crusaders for change.  They value people, win their support and use every available means to make the critical changes necessary for accomplishing the mission, regardless of the cost.

Are things changing for the better as a result of your leadership?  Is the vision for your organization progressing?  Does everyone on your team have personal goals and a plan to reach them?  Is everyone passionate about the team goals?

If you can't answer these questions in the affirmative, maybe you are managing and not leading.  As a "leader," if you are not creating your organization's future, who is?  Is it time to declare war on the status quo?