What makes a great leader? Management theorist Simon Sinek suggests, it’s someone who makes their employees feel secure, who draws staffers into a circle of trust. But creating trust and safety — especially in an uneven economy — means taking on big responsibility.
They don’t make plans; they don’t solve problems; they don’t even organize people. What leaders really do is prepare organizations for change and help them cope as they struggle through it.
Via Bobby Dillard
Don Cloud's insight:
How are you realigning your people and organization to change and adapt to the future?
Or are you merely preserving the solutions (and complex problems) of the status quo.
If there’s one thing that is scary to many companies, it’s change. Dealing with change requires leadership at all levels if that company is to survive the turbulent wave of uncertainty and misdirection that change brings.
“Critical thinking.” It’s a phrase as vague as “results-oriented individual” or “problem-solver.” Companies call for job applicants that are both worker bees and world-class innovators, prepared to paint outside the lines--but only in the brand’s monochromatic colors.
According to an American Management Association survey, 72% of employers feel that critical thinking is key to their organization’s success, but only half of those surveyed said their employees actually show this skill.
The prevailing story is that we have more distractions, more information and more decisions pressing our lives than ever before. Our attention span is shrinking; as little as 20 seconds according to some experts. Leaders in many organizations are stretched to breaking; juggling meetings, emails, inquiries and issues. As we manage the task in front of us we are already considering the next or perhaps mulling over a more complex issue that awaits our attention.
This frantic mental traffic puts us into a sort of trance. We see without seeing. We listen without hearing. We are here but not present. We may be in the room but our mind is in some faraway place or time.
“Leaders boldly go where no one has ever gone before.” Is this true? Rarely. The more successful a leader becomes, the less likely he or she chooses to step into the unknown. Although I have seen the words, “Embracing ambiguity,” on the list of leadership competencies for many companies worldwide, I have never met an executive who loves not knowing the answers.
Profound leadership is and has always been a journey -- the net sum of the journeys of everyone in the organization and the combination their life stories.
Powerful leaders have a way of moving people out on such journeys to create the next chapter in the life of the organization, thereby intertwining the lives of the leader with his/her people and weaving their stories together in such a way where the whole far exceeds the sum of the parts.