A leader can be committed to their organisations strategy and ambition, while remaining flexible about how to get there.
It is amazing how quickly journalists change their tune. When things are going well, the leader is committed, determined and persistent. Hit a sticky patch and the same leader becomes stubborn and inflexible, exhibiting tunnel vision.
How can a CEO be committed and flexible at the same time? Change requires overcoming barriers, without forever butting heads against a brick wall.
The answer lies in clearly separating ends and means.
Dominating a specific customer segment, or achieving the lowest cost position in the industry are ends. The Leader has a key role to play in achieving these strategic positions through their unrelenting determination. They project total confidence that they will be achieved, setting high standards and asking the unreasonable to challenge their organisation.
The same leader can be fully flexible about how to get there however. There is no need to spend your credibility by committing to any one particular approach, since you can’t be sure it will work. Maintain the pressure through total commitment to the end, and allow your team to innovate to get there.