Beyond Leadership to Transformation Series: The New Leadership Spirit

“The only thing that is constant is change.”

Breaking Down the Barriers to Personal and Organizational Success!

Turbulent, rapidly-changing times dominate today’s workplace.  Around the globe, unstable workforces can be contributed to many factors- mergers, acquisitions, changes in technology, and changes in how we do business.  Large multi-nationals continually survey production capabilities and move manufacturing from one location to another.  Outsourcing of support services from a business’s core competencies is becoming a common practice.  Strategic partnerships and alliances, expanding dominance through vertical supply chains and servicing vertical markets are now in vogue.

Yes, the world of work is different, and therefore our response to it must be different.  No longer does one enter the work force at an early age and chart his/her course based on one’s entrance education, training, and desired future.  Continuous learning is a requirement for employability.  Self-management and self-sufficiency are concepts that apply equally to individuals in the work place, a work unit’s performance, and at the organizational level of an enterprise.  The need and ability to be responsive, adaptable, and resilient are called for in the realm of being competitive and successful in today’s business world.

How do we prepare our children, students, associates, and ourselves for such a work environment?  Is there a set of behaviors and attitudes that can be looked for and, better yet, developed in people who want to compete and succeed?  Can parents, employers, teachers and youth leaders create an environment and culture that attracts, grows, and nurtures such behaviors and attitudes?

The answer to all these questions is a resounding YES!  Not only can leaders create and sustain such a learning environment, we must prepare our youth to be successful to have long-term viability and success in today’s work world.   This series addresses a way to achieve this end both conceptually and practically with models, practices, and tools.

What qualities and characteristics should be developed in individuals in the workplace and in our school environments?  What I am about to describe I refer to as the New Leadership Spirit.  The words leader and spirit are very important!  The word leader connotes self-direction and ownership, as well as the ability to be focused on health and wealth creation. That is to be able to stand back and view the wholeness of one’s decisions and its potential impact before taking action.  It also means to include others that are needed to affect the needed change or who may be impacted by whatever changes will take place. The word spirit means purposeful, passionate, as well as transforming and connected.  These are powerful words!

What are the added dimensions that make this concept NEW?  The newness refers to the need to partner with others and to work in harmony with others. This means not being the lone star putting him or her up against the world! The last characteristic is to be principled-centered.  That is, that you are clear on the few principles that govern your behavior and that you can communicate these principles and have them supported by others.  These are the qualities of a Change Master or a Master Teacher.

Over the past twenty-five years I have worked in the field of behavioral science as a practitioner of performance improvement of individuals, teams, and whole organizations.  The above description of the new leader has been distilled from this experience, especially over the past decade working with Fortune 100 companies like Honeywell and Exxon, as well as medium and small organizations both public and private.  These concepts and models hold true in each of these environments.


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