Having attended and officiated at dozens of weddings, I have come to a conclusion: after every wedding there is a marriage! Some get off to good starts while others begin amidst conflict and uncertainty. Some marriages are healthy and others are sick. Some marriages last a long time and many do not. But, no matter how you slice it; no matter if the wedding is at the courthouse or the church building, no matter if hundreds or thousands of dollars are spent, the end result is the same. After every wedding there is a marriage.

What does this have to do with leadership? I am glad you asked. When it comes to matrimony, my observation is that most plan for the wedding and not the marriage. But the truth is that the marriage is far more important than the wedding. When it comes to leadership, character and example are more important than position or title. Just as a wise bride and groom look beyond the wedding, good leadership looks beyond the present. Good leadership looks to issues of importance that effect the health and longevity of the organization. Good leadership understands that weddings and honeymoons are short-term experiences and that marriages are about long-term commitments.

How do you approach leadership? Do you plan for the wedding or the marriage? Leaders that plan for the marriage enjoy greater satisfaction and less stress in their work. What must you do to ensure that long-term health is a reality for your organization? What parts of your leadership plan do you need to discard? If you need some help planning for the marriage, let me know.