Atypical views on Leadership - 1
Have you met a person that was thinking in a completely different way to yours? What kind of impression does it leave on you? Do you dismiss it immediately, or you find it worthy, erroneous …?
For me it is exciting, definitely because my life path is somehow atypical, too. In our core we people are similar no matter where we come from. Not long ago I had a TEDx talk about the human behavior that surpasses “the cultural background noise” – “the noise” that accompanies us throughout our life and normally influences our values, ethics and morals, mentally and subconsciously. Unfortunately, this kind of reasoning I find that is still missing in common stances and leadership practices. Let me try to show some examples which are going to be based on atypical views.
From the management’s perspective, managers perform tasks, manage people and do business. Accordingly, there are numerous methodologies and tools helping to manage business and people: Just In Time Production, Kobayashi’s 20 keys, Six Sigma, Business Process Reengineering … to name some. In business environment, do all these methodologies and tools really come out the way we need them to? Current economic and financial situation makes us doubt it. If these tools were as efficient and as great as claimed, then we should not see companies struggling and vanishing. Why it is then so?
Management may conclusively respond that an organization strives to achieve only one ultimate goal: to become a competitive profit oriented “machine”. To do that the key device of modern management is in lowering costs: pushing on suppliers’ side, on employees, on product development and production, to name just some. And the outcome that we see all over the world is ever faster cycles of crisis.
A lot of researches show that ignoring other peoples’ work is as bad as shredding it, but we still do it. People like “to fight” and have challenges. It motivates them. The motivation can take on most, if not all, obstacles. But, in MBA schools managers go through courses and books teaching them how to control people mostly by using a zero-sum game, i.e. — someone wins and someone loses. A good example of it is the case of ‘the best of the month’, where only one employee can achieve it, all the others are losers. And this is quite a popular practice. Dan Gilbert said in his TED talk: “In pre-industrial area Adam Smith was right about efficiency, but not now, in Knowledge-economy, where Karl Marx is right about motivating by meaning!”
Will continue ….
Re-published from “the extraMILE” (autumn 2013; Issue 5; September 2013)