In my previous post I wrote about a Results Only Work Environment but as far as I can remember I have never spoken about the work that Ricardo Semler has done with his company (Semco) in Brazil (read about it in his book titled Maverick). In many ways he has been working on a result only work environment where the standard of living of everyone involved in the company (especially the employees) are put ahead of profits.
What Ricardo Semler basically did, in my opinion, was kill leadership. He looked at the organisation and realised that you need to trust the destiny of the company to its employees. It is not dependent on one person – the great, smart, all-knowing leader, to come up with the answers. Everybody needs to take initiative and responsibility and thrive. At the heart of it however it is a paradox because in order to allow the rules of self-organisation and self-management to surface and let the collective thrive it is up to the individual. In other words to let the whole govern the focus is on the individual.
It takes a formidable and very rare leader to do this. It is someone that is content with him-/herself and does not take a position of power for power sake but in order to empower others. If you want to change the organisation, change the leader. In my opinion true leadership is about heart first, then head. The one cannot go without the other but a leader needs to lead with heart. A heart that does not need to be seen as a leader in order to lead; a leader that is willing to be dead and let a legacy live while he still breathes.
In my research, coaching and consulting work I do I unfortunately have to report that leaders like these are rare. Perhaps the focus truly has to be a two-pronged approach where we reach out to current leaders in business and organisations as well as the next generation.
The key to management is to get rid of the managers.
The key to getting work done on time is to stop wearing a watch.
The best way to invest corporate profits is to give them to the employees.
The purpose of work is not to make money. The purpose of work is to make the workers, whether working stiffs or top executives, feel good about life.