The age of command and control is dead. If you’re still operating in that mode, as an individual or as an organization, you’re either in trouble now or you’re heading for it––fast!
Think about it. Do you want to be “in command” of a bunch of people who can’t think for themselves? People who have to run to you for every little thing? People who bring you problems but never solutions?
Or do you want leaders? At all levels of your organization!
From Jacob Morgan in forbes.com…
“Many companies still operate as though employees are expendable, assume that managers are powerful leaders who should control all the information and remain stoic, and that there needs to be a bureaucratic ‘pecking order’ to how things get done.” (forbes.com October, 2014)
If your organization believes that leadership is based on command and control- that in itself is a serious disconnect. People today want autonomy. They want the opportunity to do their jobs well and express their talents to the fullest.
This can be accomplished two ways…
You can just get out of the way, and Morgan cites several companies that seem to apply that technique effectively. I don’t think it’s any accident that this model seems to work best in highly creative environments where there is little or no functionary work that must be completed on specified deadlines.
The model that struck me was one in which there is a conscious process for developing leaders at all levels- independent of title and authority…
“…how about Whirlpool which recently took a unique approach to leadership by stating that everyone at the company should be a leader and created four categories that every employee in the organization can fit into (leaders self, leading others, leading function, and leading enterprise).”
That’s what I’m talking about!
Leadership should not be restricted to the executive suite and the management team. Peer to peer leadership, and as Morgan describes at Whirlpool, “self” leadership can and should be cultivated to maximize engagement at all levels.
There is, of course, a catch…
When you commit to developing leaders at all levels, you assume an important and challenging responsibility. You’ve got to have the courage to let go of those who do not embrace the concepts of self-directed leadership, peer to peer leadership and bottom-up leadership.
There is nothing more de-motivating than to work hard and assume leadership responsibility only to see a slacker tolerated or coddled. Today’s research clearly shows that one disengaged employee can drag down productivity in every person he or she contacts.
Leadership has nothing to do with authority. I’ll ask again…
Do you want to be “in command” of a bunch of people who can’t think for themselves?
Or do you want people who see what needs doing and they do it.
People who inspire others by their example.
People who are innovative and creative and willing to share ideas.
People who are self-motivated, self-directed and want to go the extra mile.
We call these people leaders…
And you don’t need rank, title or even permission.