Is There a Leader in the House?
In my recent talks at university business schools, professional organizations and conferences, I have been promoting the concept that the world is changing—becoming highly distributed, global, collaborative, open and participatory—and that the legacy notions of corporate leadership are fading away. We are entering a world defined and measured by the influence of your actions and whether people choose to follow you. As you can imagine, this comes as a shock to many who still believe that the art of leadership is about lectures, PowerPoints and cultures where rank and pay outweigh competence.
In the exposed and transparent world of social media, everyone has a voice and nobody is shy about using it. Opinions are measured in real time. Influence is established in a matter of minutes based on what you have to say, how you say it and most important, whether it inspires anyone.
Leadership by title or business school pedigree is being replaced by measures of collaborative acceptance. Today, when you are presenting at a podium, within seconds of your words being uttered thousands of tweets expressing approval, dislike, admiration or disagreement are circulating globally. Speak carefully…
When companies ask me to work with them in their leadership programs and ask me to spread their leadership gospel among the people, I decline. Leadership is not about once-a-year sessions. It is about inspiring the brilliant minds in a company. Managers need to recognize the brilliance of their staff, have the courage to listen to their feedback, have the tenacity to accept input an d criticism, and above all, have the wisdom to recognize that the paradigm of leadership has changed.
This is harder than monthly company updates. The days of sending a global email and having your assistant shield you from the results are gone. I will address the changes in the global landscape in my upcoming blogs, but for those execs who can’t or won’t become part of this collaborative, transparent landscape, prepare for the exodus. Your best employees will go where they are heard, appreciated and recognized for the innovative thinking they can bring to the table. If you’re not hearing the tweets and the Facebook updates, someone else is. Listen.
Picked up a copy of Provoke yet? You can find it on Amazon. All my best,