The buzz in the business world is all about how complex things are and, specifically, how fast everything is changing. If you are a leader in business you need to be so smart and adapt so quickly… That is such a load of bull. Yes, things are changing quickly, or at least there are greater possibilities, choices and options available right now.
What I find in businesses is that in general business leaders aren’t really changing. Right now I can think of at least six leaders and business models that are based on old thinking. I understand that actual change really takes time. Media and the status-quo would lead us to believe that everything is changing so fast. In reality I see these powers that be as the ones changing the slowest. It is in their best interest to keep things as it is. Take the latest Robin Hood film starring Russell Crowe: Just when it looks like true change will come after generations of hierarchical, unjustified, autocratic exploitation by a leader over the people things simply remain the same – the leader has seen how beneficial a system of dominance is in his favour. “Why change it, it works for me?”
The same thing is happening in organisations globally. Truly transformational models of business have emerged in the early 1980’s in South America (here I refer to Semco) as well as earlier than that on other continents (the Tata group of companies come to mind) but it has been isolated. My question is why hasn’t it happened more? Why hasn’t this truly transformational business models been occurring much more. It is a model where the business is about people first and how they come together to create a better world through what they do – real meaning!
Instead of the direction of the organisation being set by a bunch of people that only want to see a financial return; how about the direction set by the people on the ground and who have a daily relationship with the business – they are the business.
So here is my current thesis on why this does not happen more: Leaders with big egos. Of the greatest leader when he is gone they will say we did it ourselves. The greatest leader is one that is not a leader. There is no such thing as leadership. I am convinced there is only love, dedication, vision and action. A person that can use love, dedication, vision and action to enable others to do the same is needed. It is not about them – they know that. It is about using their abilities to help others do whatever is needed to get the job done and do it in excellence!
As soon as we start talking about leadership people clamor for position, title and money. Ask people to help others achieve their wildly important goals and help the organisation succeed while these people get all the recognition and reward and I don’t think you will have many people left that can do the job. It is a job that requires people to see them selves as enablers, facilitators and connectors so that things can start unfolding on their own. You have to be secure in your identity so that you don’t have to fight for it publicly and embrace complexity so that things can unfold organically.
My aim is to spread the message and work with people to unleash potential and release creativity and let it go where it needs to go. What are you up to?