Friday, March 21, 2008

Sometimes it feels as though we have lost the formula for leadership, mentoring, and the understanding of its importance.

I witness companies embracing the politically and socially correct consensus management style and sometimes I am amazed at what I am observing. It is tantamount to seeing leadership turn to those that should be lead; and saying, what do we do??

I am very much a believer in consensus and collaboration style, but there is a distorted, politically correct version that is damaging American business and castrating leadership.

The point is, most people want to be lead by vision and good plans. One may believe the millennium generation rebels against leadership and vision. My experience is telling me the exact opposite; they want to believe that management knows what they are doing. Moreover, they are silently disappointed if management does not make a stand. The concept that everyone has an equally informed and educated opinion is simply not accurate. It is no different than everyone being given a trophy for showing up to the game. While each person on this earth share the equality of all humankind, they do not necessarily all share the right ideas to all things all the time. Sometimes a group has to uncover the best choice and operationalize that choice in it most effective posture.

Productive consensus, is building the character of the team to not water down a solution to make the team happy at the cost of the goal or mission.

Certainly, this is true of all people in an organization. People want to work from a vision, a plan and hope. This requires the emotional intelligence of our leaders to be at peak ability. For those doubters, take a look at the Obama campaign. While I like the man, he is more of a promoter and leader than a substantive CEO, yet he has created a movement.

Empty consensus purely for the purpose of being inclusive is useful at team developing, it is not always what is most productive to develop an organization........... If leadership is not careful, it can create the path to the lowest common denominator.

Every agreed upon plan should pass the test of:
  • Does the plan pay more attention to the challenge, or more attention to the inability to gain consensus to do the right thing.

Leaders need to create a movement in there organization. Leaders also need to be reminded that it is their job to create a movement that their employees can follow.

We cannot try and conceal a lack of leadership, vision, and direction and call it empowerment.
Empowerment without vision is weak at best, and in the worst case is chaotic.

Leaders need to lead.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Very well said! I am new to the work world and it seems that my bosses are afraid to lead as if it would hurt our feelings. I get the trophy thing!

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Founder/CEO Ross Results, Inc. - Richard is an executive mentor, coach, an executive leader, and clinical therapist and has held Chief "C"- Level leadership positions with private, public, and not for profit, technology and service organizations. He has stewarded organizations through joint ventures, mergers, acquisitions, integrations, and ultimately, cultural transformations, both domestically and internationally. This global exposure has guided his professional skills with respect and insight into diversity in the workplace. Richard, in addition to providing performance coaching/mentoring, is a keynote motivational speaker, facilitates senior level workshops, and leadership retreats. Additionally, Richard serves on committees and corporate advisory boards in support of our National Defense and Homeland Security. In 1998 he founded Ross Results, Inc., an idea born in his early days in Corporate America.