Why Leaders are now in a TIGHT SPOT: Reason #1

Leaders are now in a tight spot because the VOLUME and COMPLEXITY of what they have to deal with continue to increase.

In his book, The Checklist Manifesto, Atul Gawande eloquently explained the profound problem leaders face today. “The volume and complexity of what we have to deal with have exceeded our ability to remember what to do.”

Here’s a less eloquent spin. It’s a scene from one of my favorite films, “O Brother, Where Art Thou?”

This classic comedy tells the story of three stumblebum convicts who escape prison to go on a quest for treasure. At one point they are hiding in a barn loft and find themselves surrounded by an army of lawmen. The lawmen are waving torches and threatening to burn down the barn if the convicts don’t surrender. At that moment, their self-appointed leader, Ulysses Everett McGill (portrayed by George Clooney) says three times, “Damn! We’re in a tight spot!”

In our warp-speed world, leaders are in a tight spot because the volume and complexity of what they have to deal with continue to increase. Information overload is now a raging river and there is no end in sight. To sustain success, we need something more than traditional leadership knowledge and skills.

The winners in the 21st century will be those who have the knowledge and skills for leading in a warp-speed world.


If you would like to explore how I can help you win in our warp-speed world, let’s connect.


LELAND RUSSELL is founder and CEO of GEO Group Strategic Services, a firm that cultivates 21st Century Leadership. Leland helps exceptional leaders shape smart solutions and accelerate superior results with powerful, proven methods.

Leland has built a stellar performance track record with a wide range of Fortune 500 organizations, mid-size firms, and non-profits. His typical clients are CEOs, business leaders, and mission-critical teams.