Monday, October 27th, 2014


My experience, my reading and leaders’ opinions in The Leadership Intensive Workshop I ran with colleagues, show me there is a new model of leadership emerging.The old one casts a large shadow but it is a fading shadow. 

The new leadership model has these elements among others:

–High degree of collaboration in order to see the whole picture so that one system or function isn’t messing things up for another AND to create new ideas through thinking and creating together.

–More intuitive/instinctual decision making. Data can never make the decision
  for you. Or if research and data alone can make the decision, then it is not
  a decision that will take you far. It already was an easy decision. The future is
  not knowable and demands a leap of some kind that is not a sure thing.

–Multi-tasking will continue to be demanded. And yes, research shows that 
  single focus is best. A better definition of what I am talking about is the 
  ability to switch focus quickly and effectively, not doing everything at once.

–Frequent and numerous transitions will be the norm and need to be done
  without disruption.  Teams will come and go. Projects will live and die.
  Meetings and travel into different geographic and company cultures will
  increase. Recalibrating constantly will be a skill for leaders.  

–The ability to be clear about the demands facing the company and why they 
   matter will be paramount in order to allow people to be free to meet 
   those demands in many,many possible ways. The “how” will have to quit
   being dictated.               

–Trusting professional relationships will be necessary to allow nimble 
  timely action.  I don’t mean happy, fun, kind relationships, but rather
  deep trust that can be leaned into so that bold action can occur.

–The ability to simplify complexity so that coherent action can be taken
  across a large company will be needed.  It has to be developed, not
  “sold”  so that the understanding is in the DNA of the company, not driven
  from the surface.

The blind spot here is that you may have battling leadership models at play in your company.  This causes symptoms like action grid-lock, profound disagreement on the “how” versus the “what”, and loss of high potential talent who can’t live with outdated leadership anymore.  

Don’t be blind to the need to be explicit about your companies leadership
model so that you are not literally working at cross purposes. One way to do this is to collect a bunch of models and have your top group cherry pick what they believe is effective and needed.  And then add some too.  Don’t rely on outdated tools to define leadership now. Build a new one that takes you into
the future.

What would you put on the list for a new leadership model?
I’ll share it here.  Let’s make explicit what is just beginning to emerge.
And, thank goodness.


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