Every single objective has cost.

Leaders must understand that any goal comes with a certain price. Nothing is free that is in anyway meaningful and certainly any campaign that has a possibility of success must have a certain cost.
This cost is not always measured in money or energy per se, often times what we risk is something more existential; our future.

Every time that you take responsibility for an action, you are risking your standing and reputation.  You are putting yourself on the line as soon as you are willing to stand up and take action. Taking responsibility means instant scrutiny from others so you must stand firm against this challenge.
Since you risk so much when you take a decisive action, you must be very certain that you calculate the cost of all that you are about to do. Leaders take responsibility and because they are responsible, they put themselves in harm’s way.

To be a leader is therefore to be a risk taker. Leaders gamble on the fact that what they are about to do will have future gain.  This future gain is for their good, and for the good of all those that they lead.

Leaders need to calculate the cost of any venture before they commit to an action. They need to look past their emotions and let go of any instinct to act on first impulses.  To be a leader means to plan and to look ahead. Impulsive actions can have a terrible cost, a cost that can most often not be reversed.

Leaders therefore are planners, they calculate. They measure, they ponder, and they examine every possible outcome to every possible circumstance. Before leaders act and put themselves and their people in the spotlight, they must ponder and calculate every possible outcome. Anything less is most certain defeat.

“Walk softly and carry a big abacus,” should be your motto. Realize now that everything that you do when you act as a leader has a price. Since everything has a price, make sure that you do not commit until you are ready, willing, and able to commit with as many of your resources as it takes to win.

There are times when the world thrusts a big problem on your shoulders and you are not given the choice to take action. The playing stage that is a leaders domain is full of uncertainty and there are times when you can’t calculate, but are thrust into the spotlight by powers beyond your control.

When this happens, and it will, a leaders creates time. When a leader is face with odds that he or she hasn’t had time to calculate, he/she lets his mind expand and looks for ways to create time which can be used to postulate the right decision.

Leaders engage their competitors with a free and open mind that is not concerned and they look for ways to distract those competitors. These distractions must be abstract and catch the competition unaware.
This allows a leader to retreat for a moment so that he/she can quickly contemplate his/her actions and choose the one course of action that will be best suited to thwart the opposition. The more time that you can give yourself to calculate and to reposition your forces the better.

A great leader could be thrown into a pit of hungry lions and walk out with their food bowls.

Learn to do this so that when you are faced with the worst, you pull out of your hat the impossible. Then calculate, calculate and calculate some more. And when you think that you have made the best possible decision, taking into account every possible outcome, ACT.

If you can do this, then you will succeed over all those obstacles, challenges and competitors that you meet. Your people will begin to see your power and will trust your command. With trust and good will, you can get your people to do anything.

Resources—The Art of War by Sun Tzu