Leadership development: This time it really is different

July 5, 2017 by Wally Bock

Michelle M. Smith’s article, “Stop Managing By the Book and Start Innovating,” does a superb job of describing some of the leadership challenges of the 21st Century. Here’s just one of the passages that caught my eye.

“While no company would put up with a 1940’s-era phone system, or forgo the efficiency enhancing benefits of modern technology, that’s exactly what you’re doing when you fail to exploit the potential to transform the way the work of management is accomplished.”

What’s your company like? Are you trying to meet 21st Century challenges with Industrial Age leadership and leadership development?

Leadership development for the Industrial Age

Industrial Age organizations do what they were designed to do. They accomplish repeatable tasks with increasing efficiency at increasing scale. Leaders plan what would be done and how it would be done. They supervised the work to make sure it was done according to plan. Planning and execution where usually done by different people with different freedom to innovate.

Leadership development for the 21st Century

21st Century organizations are and will be different. They must be agile and resilient to meet the shifting challenges of volatile business environment. 21st Century leadership will have to help everyone keep their eyes on the big prize. Key leaders must unleash the energy, intelligence, and creativity of everyone and enable them to act to meet fast-changing challenges.

The challenge is to develop leaders who are good at influence but who don’t feel the need to control. The challenge is to develop leaders who are adept at helping individuals and teams succeed while letting others act on their own initiative.

Wally Bock is a coach, a writer and President of Three Star Leadership.

Posted in Leadership Development

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