In The Next Gen Leader, Robert C. McMillan argues that everyone is a leader and should be recognized as such if organizations are to succeed and excel in today’s dynamic, competitive marketplace. Acting as a leadership coach, McMillan provides a complete 6G Leadership System to enable emerging, aspiring, and executive leaders to maximize their potential and become transformational leaders. He identifies six generations of leadership and discusses the attitudes and states of mind that are required to operate successfully at each leadership level.
McMillan offers readers the following advice:
- Despite different experiences and different career journeys, everyone can be a leader. The 6G Leadership System provides a tracking system to identify where people are and offers a pathway forward to enable people to become transformational leaders.
- Leadership is a choice, not a position. Individuals should choose to lead, regardless of their positions in the hierarchy, and organizations should create environments where everyone is encouraged to lead.
- To truly maximize leadership potential, people must first have universal balance in their lives. They can evaluate this balance and improve it by exploring six life applications, which assess faith, moral purpose, intellect, self-awareness, relationships, and wealth (financial and health).
- Every aspiring leader needs to understand the Six Senses of Leadership (seeing, hearing, tasting, smelling, touching, and kinesthetic) are critical in order to become a leader of significance. These senses yield awareness that one is a leader, regardless of position, pay, or power.
In Leadership 2030, Georg Vielmetter and Yvonne Sell provide a road map of the broad trends that are reshaping markets, cultures, and companies. Based on research with the Hay Group, a global management consultancy, they offer insights into six megatrends: the shift of economic power to Asia, the escalating war for talent, environmental crisis, eroding customer and employee loyalty, the melding of private and working lives, and technological convergence. The authors show how these self-reinforcing trends demand enlightened leadership with the skills to engage an ever-widening circle of stakeholders. Gone are the days of the egocentric, alpha-male leadership. To survive the megatrend storm leaders will have to provide workers with greater autonomy while finding ways to respond to the unique needs of every customer.
Six big changes are afoot that will reshape the demands of leadership going forward:
- Globalization in the future will be more about power shifting to Asia than it has been in the past. The growing middle class in many developing nations will create new opportunities, but also challenges as multinationals try to serve highly localized markets.
- Climate change will drive resource scarcity, forcing leaders to fundamentally rethink their operations.
- Rising affluence will drive demand for customized products. Just as consumers seek out more individualized experiences, so too will employees whose work need not be restricted by time and place.
- The digital era will shift power to consumers and workers, away from traditional management structures. Already, the digital world is blurring the line between personal and professional lives, while increasing organizational transparency.
- The aging population will shrink the workforce and require leaders to cope with intergenerational workplaces.
- Several cutting-edge technologies will converge to open new markets. Nanotechnology and biotechnology especially will challenge leadership to invest in R&D programs and to respond effectively to societal worries.
Digital Masters are the organizations that use digital technologies to work differently. They employ strong digital and leadership capabilities to get closer to their customers, empower their employees, and improve their business processes. When organizations attain digital mastery, they show a clear performance advantage. Digital Masters are significantly more profitable than their competitors and have greater achievement, more money for investment, and more engaged employees. The benefits to digital mastery are great, but many organizations struggle to adopt and use digital technology. By following the step-by-step guide detailed by George Westerman, Didier Bonnet, and Andrew McAfee in Leading Digital, executives can successfully transform their organizations into Digital Masters.
In today’s rapidly changing business environment, organizations that know how to successfully utilize digital technologies show greater profit, performance, and productivity. The roadmap to digital mastery includes the following components:
- Create a compelling customer experience. The most visible aspect of digital capability is how an organization engages with its customers. Organizations must go beyond their traditional websites and mobile apps to change their customers’ experiences. To do this, they must follow the four levels of digital mastery, transitioning from Beginners, Fashionistas, and Conservatives to Digital Masters.
- Reinvent business models. Digital Masters have an advantage over their competitors because they rely on new business models, such as reconfiguring delivery methods, creating new products, and reinventing entire industries.
- Craft a digital vision. Vision is what sets an organization’s aspirations, and Digital Masters create visions that focus on customer experiences and operational processes.
- Engage the organization. A vision cannot become a reality without energized employees. Digital Masters use distinctive engagement strategies to get employees excited about digital transformation.
- Govern the transformation. Once vision and engagement are in place, organizations need governance to keep transformation on the right track. Digital Masters use committees, leadership roles, and shared digital units to provide strong governance.
- Build technology leadership capabilities. Keeping a transformation moving forward requires a strong relationship between an organization’s business and information technology leaders. By fostering these relationships, Digital Masters encourage cultures that continually create valuable digital transformation opportunities.
- Frame and fund the digital challenge. Creating a digital advantage takes effort. Digital Masters put in the effort by building awareness, understanding the starting point, and crafting a vision — then aligning the senior executive team around it and funding the transformation.
- Sustain the digital transformation. It can be difficult for an organization to keep its transformation going. Digital Masters sustain transformation by building foundation skills, aligning incentive and reward structures, and continually monitoring progress.
How Great Leaders Think
The distinction between a great leader and one who suffers through a difficult, short tenure has much to do with how the person sees both the world and his or her organization. In How Great Leaders Think, Lee G. Bolman and Terrence E. Deal provide tales of successful leaders—including Lou Gerstner of IBM, Anne Mulcahy of Xerox, and Howard Schultz of Starbucks—to show how they brought new views to the organizations they led and were able to navigate the structure, people, politics, and culture of their companies. Great leaders use a variety of viewpoints, based on their personal histories, worldviews, and experiences, to see their organizations for what they really are and understand how they need to get to the next stage.
According to the authors:
- Good leadership requires reframing. New leaders who step in with a narrow mind will not go far in their new roles. They need to be able to step back and see the organization from a variety of perspectives.
- Adaptability is a common thread of great leaders. Executives who insist on their way or the highway, who do not adapt to the organization they are leading with all its quirks and cultural differences from places they have previously worked, will have short tenures.
- The structure of an organization deserves significant attention. The social architecture of a business is a critical component and should be given its due.
- Great leaders have self-awareness. Weak managers do not realize how they are perceived. They get caught in hypocrisy and believe no one is listening to them. If they were more aware of how they came across, they could adjust how they communicate and make more progress with those around them.
- To be heard, leaders need to listen. By reaching out to employees and customers and hearing what they have to say, leaders can connect with the realities that are unique to the company and come up with helpful, practical recommendations.
- Politics is not a bad thing. Building relationships and networking are critical activities for leaders who need to navigate their way around a company. They need allies to get projects done and to carry through strategies.
- Employees look to their leaders for magic. Great leaders are able to tap into the core of the company culture and pull out surprises that appear like magic, although they actually are based on the leaders’ years of experience and well-crafted worldview.
- Reframing takes practice. Leaders need to see the world they live in through various lenses, but that is something that takes time to learn and may require the help of others who can provide different perspectives.
A Team of Leaders
In today’s business world it is challenging for companies to both deal with problems and changes internally and at the same time be productive and competitive in the marketplace. In A Team of Leaders, Paul Gustavson and Stewart Liff show readers how to create an environment where everyone is a leader. The lives of team leaders or supervisors can be fraught with frustration, as pressure is exerted on them from both the top and the bottom, as well as from the public who use their companies’ products or services. Some companies seek to lessen this stress by adopting team environments, which can be helpful but still puts leaders at the top of these teams. Building teams of leaders, however, replaces the supervisor-employee relationship with teams that eventually manage themselves.
The authors provide the following advice to readers:
- The amount of involvement and interest a work force generally projects is relevant to how leader-focused that group is designed to be. Companies need to evaluate where their teams are. Teams possess a greater sense of ownership when all members have input and are equally informed about what is going on.
- Different designs create different teams. The way teams are designed will predict the way they look and behave. Companies’ structures and management systems should be closely aligned with their overall strategies to begin with, which makes it easier for teams to have common visions and purposes.
- Within teams, the goal is for everyone to be leaders. Each employee should have an individual development plan and recognition for accomplishments, and in this way all employees will be able to foresee future actions and promotions within the teams.
- Leaders want to be contributors. Leadership is encouraged when each member of the team knows exactly what his or her contribution is to the overall mission. Regular feedback about the progress the team is making and how it is contributing to the overall goals of the company is extremely helpful.
- Knowledge management is important and multi-faceted. Teams need to have data and information, but also knowledge about procedures, policies and other organizational materials, in addition to working knowledge of the values and beliefs of their companies. Each member should master the skills needed to perform his or her own functions and have a general idea of what others do to contribute.
The Naked CEO
Who would have thought a successful leadership career would stem from a high school suspension. But that is what happened for Alex Malley. His school suspension is just one experience in a line of missteps that yielded important learnings that led him on a path to become a successful CEO, television host, educator, and mentor. All of these experiences inspired him to write The Naked CEO, a compilation of the learnings he has accumulated and shared over the years with young people preparing to leave college and enter the business world. Malley’s key message is to never let fear or embarrassment hold people back from pursuing their dreams. Unless individuals are comfortable with their own journeys, they are unlikely to truly help others on theirs.
Young people can start their careers and build the “big life” of their dreams through courage, hard work, and paying attention to the following truths:
- Dare to dream. Individuals who are authentic and true to themselves, know what they want, and apply themselves toward their goals can achieve great things.
- The past does not determine the future. Individuals are affected by their early life experiences. Those experiences can create fears that sometimes get in the way of achievement. However, with self-awareness and the determination to overcome those fears, success is within each individual’s control.
- Creating one’s universe is the first step to success. Understanding one’s unique gifts and contributions and visualizing how to use that understanding to effect change is how an individual creates his or her “universe.” The process requires self-reflection and having the determination to follow one’s “passion, imagination, and vision.” This is the path to personal success.
- Without authenticity there is nothing. Every individual has unique qualities and unique contributions to make. However, without being true to oneself, those qualities and contributions cannot be brought to fruition.
- Success is based more on relationships and less on knowledge. Ultimately, it is people, not knowledge, that make the business world go round. More opportunities are created through networking and building authentic relationships than anything else.
- Wisdom is a collection of experiences. By using trial and error, making mistakes, “sucking it up”, and not fearing failure, people can reach their “big lives.”
What I Didn’t Learn in Business School
Many of the widely accepted strategy tools taught in business schools do not apply in the real world. In What I Didn’t Learn in Business School, Jay B. Barney and Trish Gorman Clifford relate the fictional story of Justin Campbell, a recent MBA graduate. Through the story, the authors show that traditional strategy tools do not work because they do not take into account the ways that human interactions and individual goals interfere in the workplace.
According to the authors:
- Many strategy tools taught in business school do not take into account how human interactions and office politics interfere with decision-making processes.
- Assumptions may work in the classroom for demonstration purposes, but they will not be adequate in the real world. Different assumptions lead to vastly different outcomes in real-world scenarios.
- One of the hardest skills to learn is how to remain objective and base decisions on facts and research. Sometimes it is easy to take what others say at face value, but all information should be verified and questioned.
- When attempting to get buy-in from leadership, it is important to identify those on the executive team who oppose the idea. Most effort should be spent convincing these individuals.
Leaders in Motion
Today’s economy, with its insatiable need for great ideas and effective implementation, does not reward stifling environments and underdeveloped staffs. Instead, it demands smart work at full throttle. To unleash productive power, organizations look to their leaders. Global competitors and the advancement of new technologies require leaders to be constantly in motion as they lead their organizations to success by creating cultures of transformation. In Leaders in Motion, Dr. Marta Wilson offers her proven method for unleashing the full potential of every organization by helping leaders tap their potential to create and motivate cultures of transformation and achievement.
Wilson offers the following advice to leaders wishing to spur cultural change in their companies:
- The race to win organizational health, wealth, and creative power begins with personal mastery, and the journey toward personal mastery begins with a commitment to integrity.
- Organizational transformation is based on personal transformation.
- The starting point for authentic organizational transformation is the leader, who must be committed to personal transformation.
- To master their enterprises and the interpersonal connections within them, leaders must first master themselves.
- Transformation requires personal mastery built on authenticity, integrity, consciousness, and willingness to embrace change.
- Learning how to practice new reactions is an essential element of transformation.
Leading on Purpose
Many businesspeople today grasp the intricacies of their industries, but they fall short in knowing how to lead their people to get their jobs done effectively. In Leading on Purpose, Timothy I. Thomas and Charles “Rip” Tilden focus on helping leaders and managers develop the sophisticated people skills they need to supplement their technical and organizational skills. Drawing on authoritative research, the authors cover topics ranging from different leadership styles to conflict resolution to change management.
According to the authors:
- Leaders have two types of power: Positional power, which stems from their positions within their organizations, and personal power, which flows from their qualities as individuals.
- There are five basic leadership styles: bureaucratic, supportive, directive, traditional, and collaborative. Leaders should generally strive to use the collaborative style, which shows high levels of concern for both people and production and strives to foster employee satisfaction rather than basic employee happiness.
- Leaders must have effective business strategies, or basic statements of the value their organizations intend to create. Business strategies should be SMART: specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and timely.
- A leader’s most important skill is to be able to communicate effectively. This includes articulating a vision, connecting with people to promote understanding, and listening to really hear what people have to say.
- Employee disengagement is a major problem in the United States. Disengaged employees show little commitment to their companies’ futures and complain often. Motivating people depends on understanding the hierarchy of human needs, which includes basic needs, security needs, belonging needs, ego-status needs, and self-actualization needs.
- Feedback is a powerful tool for improving employee engagement and performance. The most critical element of the feedback process is the opening statement, which should be descriptive and not judgmental.
- Workplace conflict is unhealthy if it involves strong emotions and is disruptive to productivity and morale. In resolving conflicts, thoughts must be distinguished from feelings, and wants must be distinguished from needs.
Becoming a Resonant Leader
In Becoming a Resonant Leader, Annie McKee, Richard Boyatzis, and Frances Johnston describe how the most capable leaders have resonance, the ability to employ emotions effectively to achieve success while remaining attuned to the feelings and perceptions of others. Intellectual and technical knowledge are critical to effective leadership, but leaders’ abilities to manage themselves and connect with others are even more important. This is why emotional intelligence facilities like self-awareness and empathy are so valuable in relating to and communicating with others. The most effective leaders exude optimism and hope—feelings that are easily transmitted to others. Subordinates are quite aware and receptive to these positive sentiments and respond in kind, becoming more energetic and productive in the process.
According to the authors:
- Resonant leaders have an accurate sense of themselves. This includes clear insights about what they are good at, what is difficult for them, and what they need to learn to achieve their optimum performance.
- The best leaders possess strong social and emotional intelligence. This means that they are able to manage themselves and connect effectively with others.
- People are constantly assessing their leaders and trying to understand them. This is why it is important for leaders to be aware of changing emotional realities in their groups and relationships.
- Good leaders are not necessarily those that appear impervious to stress. Good leaders reevaluate themselves periodically and undergo renewal in order to address their tasks with greater skill and energy.
- Resonant leadership requires a solid understanding of how social systems and the people who occupy them have to work together to achieve complex objectives.
A lack of leadership results in problematic work behaviors, such as poor performance and absenteeism. Unless supervisors take responsibility for good workplace relationships, their companies’ cultures will suffer. The problems start when employees are promoted to leadership positions without the necessary skills and training, which can lead to workplace drama. In No-Drama Leadership, Marlene Chism presents a new model where everyone is a leader–from frontline employees to CEOs. This encourages people at all levels to learn from one another and become more aligned, aware, and accountable.
According to Chism:
- Supervisors and managers are often the cause of poor employee performance, absenteeism, and turnover. In many cases, they are promoted into positions of responsibility without any leadership training.
- Leaders must align their companies’ values with their own. Without alignment, they will lack awareness and accountability for the people they manage.
- Self-awareness is a start, but leaders must also be aware of other people and cultures.
- Responsible leaders take ownership of situations and are accountable for doing what is required.
- Decisions are frequently made by leaders without regard for how they may impact others. Good leaders see both the short- and long-term impacts of their decisions.
- Communication is important to any technical training a company may require. Without good communication skills, drama can result both inside and outside the company.
- When employees have some control over, or at least an understanding of, the changes happening within their work environments, they are less inclined to resist them.
- Enlightened leaders address issues immediately and correct course as needed, rather than hoping problems will simply go away.
- Leaders must put time and effort into understanding their employees to ensure engagement happens in a positive way.
To learn more, please visit http://www.bizsum.com