We need more Leaders, not Managers.
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I have fallen out of love...
“Executive”, “VP”, “Director”, “Entrepreneur”, “Manager”.
There was a time when I used to idolize over the day when I would earn one of these titles. When I would get to sling it over my shoulder as a proud badge of honor and pride.
Those days have become a thing of the past and today the words feel increasingly empty, hollow, and irrelevant.
What I originally associated with these titles, these highly exalted roles, I am realizing more often than not does not exist.
Maybe it never did at all.
Allow me to explain…
Influence, Attention and Trust.
These are by far and away the most meaningful currencies of today and tomorrow.
Disappearing are the days where authoritative power, command and control, and rule through hierarchy are effective means for mobilizing a team to achieve greatness and strive relentlessly towards a vision.
Let me pause and ask you, as a manager:
- Do your team members express a deep need and desire to master the day to day static tactical tasks they execute?
- Are you being asked or required on a daily basis to train and teach your employees steps 1-100 of the skills they are learning?
- Are your employees craving hand holding as they learn and explore?
- How many of your employees are thrilled when you tell them exactly what they have to do and how they have to do it?
- Does your team give you feedback on how much they love only having exposure and understanding to the isolated piece of work they were delegated to?
A new leadership equation.
Attention, trust and meaningful connection drive influence. Aligned influence within a team drives impact. And sustainable impact at scale driven intrinsically is what the greatest leaders seek to create.
In the next 10-15 years this juxtaposition of leadership being masked by “management” will be continually flipped on it’s head and exposed.
In many areas of the world it already is.
So let me ask you again, as a leader this time:
- Do you believe your employees want to deeply understand the impact they are having on the business and your end user?
- Do you believe your team wants to be pushed and challenged, expand their skill set and learn from failure in a safe environment?
- Do members of your team want to be involved in the strategic process for how you operate and drive business forward?
- Does your team want ownership of the vision?
- Does your team want to internally acknowledge that you care for them deeply and they care for the betterment of each other?
If this second set of questions gets you more fired than the first, than the future is bright for you.
And while many of our corporations aren’t ready to break down the barriers to empower you to fly, I promise you that day is coming. My encouragement is to keep doing what you’re doing and remember that influential leadership is bigger than any role, title, or organizational chart.
A new breed of leader.
This new breed of leader isn't driven primarily by corporate promotions, titles or status.
This leader is hungry for something different.
They want the opportunity to learn at a pace almost unsustainable. They want to be pushed, challenged and intrinsically inspired to get better everyday. They want to authentically own and influence the vision. They want to paint an inspiring picture of this vision with their teams and coworkers.
They want to work with more leaders like themselves.
The world is changing
Are you and your people on board?
The last thing to know about these leaders is that they won’t settle for mediocrity. If they can’t find their seat on your bus, they won’t hesitate to find it somewhere else.
I am SO fortunate to work for a company, BuildDirect, that is ahead of it’s time building a leadership culture and facilitating the exponential impact of influence across the organization.
What have you seen in your workforce?
Photo Credit: Mike Wilson
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