A lot of things have changed and continue to change in the world. New challenges and opportunities are at our doorsteps just about everyday; to avoid the anguish and to reap the rewards we also have to change in response to our environment.
By “we” I mean us as individuals and as organizations (or any other collective you can think of). While there are still plenty of goods being manufactured, there’s also this whole global knowledge economy thing. I’m not sure if is it easier or harder in terms of leadership; I do know it’s different, not completely different, but different. We’ve pretty much buried the 30-years, same organization, gold watch, retire career. But have we replaced it yet? I don’t think so. We’re still figuring out the situation.
A massive economic meltdown is a pretty good chance to make some changes. Business as usual is not going to work – not for us as individuals or as organizations. We have to focus on results, and we have to think about results differently.
What do we want and how do we want to get it? Metrics like the numbers of hours spent in an office of the price of a stock are fine – but do they really matter – or are they proxy measures, perhaps ones that have become disconnected from the real value we seek? By focusing too much on the parts we can easily measure – we miss the big picture. Too much big picture talk leaves us wondering what we’re supposed to do about it.
Clearly, we’re off balance, distracted, and confused. And in a way that makes sense. Our sense of ourselves and of our world has changed. It’s time to change how we respond, how we lead.
I don’t have the answer and I doubt any one person does – but I’m thinking about a new take on the three “Rs” (reading, ‘riting, ‘rithmetic) – adding Four New ones – Respect, Results, Responsibility, and Responsiveness*.
*This list is very similar to the Four R’s of Inclusive Leadership by Edwin P. Hollander which I reviewed after I wrote this. Even though our lists differ by one item, they are similar enough that I want to give him credit for publishing the list before I did.