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Painting and Leadership

Lenny the Painter

My mentor recently asked me a profound question. We were talking about great leaders in companies and what makes a great leader. This question was posed to me: What is the difference between Leonardo Da Vinci and a guy named Lenny who paints (see picture)?

I was not sure how to answer, but I tried anyway. Both Leonardo and Lenny can paint the "broad-strokes" pretty well. Their basics are about the same. Similar techniques, similar brush and similar color choices. So on the surface they are both pretty good. The distinction between Leonardo and Lenny is in the fine details. Leonardo spent most of his career perfecting the "fine-strokes" and techniques. This is a contrast to Lenny, who is happy that his background work looks reasonably good.

The analogy was perfect. Nearly all business leaders have the "broad-strokes" down pat. It is the price of admission. it is the great business leaders, however, that spend all of their time and energy on the "fine-strokes" of leadership and management.

Think about the leaders you know in your company have they mastered the "fine-strokes" or are they like Lenny?

Rick Maher


Turning Point HCM

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