Posts Tagged ‘Leadership’
A textile company wove fine English woollens. Its employees worked in a machine filled factory in subdivisions each with their own manager. The managers all reported to a chief executive who arrived early, left late and made all the important decisions in between. This story shared in the book Maverick by Ricardo Semler may not sound unusual to you except when I tell you – this factory existed in 1633.
Technology has made it possible to teleconference with China and call home from inside a 747 while flying over the Pacific Ocean and yet most businesses today are still organised in the same way as they were in 1633.
With top-down container management giving close and distrustful supervision and little room for uniqueness, individuality and creativity. This wide divide between advancing technology and frozen, archaic leadership is, in my mind, a major reason why the modern workplace is characterised by dissatisfaction, frustration, inflexibility and stress.
If only we could change minds as well as we change machines and computers we would then see a new generation of leadership and organisations. As Ricardo Semler from the Semco Organisation in Brazil said it best “Technology is transformed overnight, mentality takes generations to alter.”
Does your up-to-date life mean you are rushing to the beach for a one-week break, sharing the jet compartment with 300 other overstressed office workers, eating from plastic containers arriving to lay in front of the turquoise water, iPhone in hand checking emails and texting the office instructions in your absence alongside other crazed professionals?
Technology has gone through the roof but our quality of life is down the tube. All we have managed to do is accelerate our issues and increase the volume of our miscommunication. If you truly want to live your UQ, be an expander leader or create a company that is a Unique success, then avoid the obsession with technology and put quality of life first. Focus on innovations that will enable you to work better with your team, your colleagues and your community rather than simply installing the next and latest gadgets or management fads.
No person, team or company can be successful in the long term if money and profits are their only goal. Every employee satisfaction survey reveals that money is not the primary motivator. Money isn’t power, having a vision, a purpose and striving for something greater than just profits is what drives leaders and inspires a workforce. You need to treat your people as adults, not children and be an adult not a parent. Rather than pushing fixed hours, organisation charts and policy manuals that strip away freedom and choice and give a false sense of security, establish a common goal, recognise divergence and uniqueness, honour contribution and allow your tribes to determine their own ways of achieving it.
Unless the basic structure of your life, your team and your organisation is one that accepts change as its basic premise and fosters power from your and everyone elses UQ – that is a sustainable quality of life from living a balanced quadruple bottom line – then you cannot expect long term success in the modern world. Balance your UQ bottom line first and the impact, income and influence will follow.
Bite-sized learning tip of the day: Expressing enthusiasm is a powerful psychological trigger that can influence people in a positive way.
“Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.” Oscar Wilde