Ubiquitous Leadership - RegInsights

Awaken Your Potential

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This is our final article in the Lead 3.0 Series.

Our new world requires leadership at every level, no job does not have significant leadership attached to it. Leadership in our digital world must be transferable, repeatable, scalable, and sustainable. A modern organisation without a culture of leadership is one where people have abdicated personal responsibility and accountability and where authority and control have been taken over by those who seek self-promotion and power over real leadership. 

Ubiquitous LeaderLeadership is no longer the domain of the folk at the ‘top’ of the organisational chart. When we fail to accept our responsibility as team players, we cede our authority to others, and we not only fail to lead – our organisation does not live up to its potential. And it will go out of business, slowly, and then suddenly. In Lead 3.0, leadership must be tangible and everywhere.

Organisations with weak, dependent followers cannot be as successful and sustainable as those designed through the collaborative efforts of strong independent leaders.

There can only be one CEO in an organisation, but everyone can be a leader. 

Organisations realise leadership must be a ubiquitous quality that pervades every aspect of day-to-day operations. They understand every person must lead; even if people are only responsible for leading themselves, they must lead.

The Regenesys Lead 3.0 research team have found that some organisations still operate in the industrial lead-from-the top mindset. The leader, the CEO, or the managing director sets out what must be done. The creative decision making is exclusively in the C-suite, and employees are expected to faithfully implement the boss’s plan. And they get extra marks for the rapid execution of plans they had no part in. But, essentially, this is a dead organisation, ruled by fear. In this kind of organisation, employees shy away from responsibility, because action without the boss’s patronage is punishable. A culture of learned helplessness emerges in these types of organisations. Employees learn to read the behavioural cues of the leaders and adapt their responses accordingly. That sort of organisation has a culture of personal survival and not of excellence. Leadership is far more than merely performing instructions given to you. Leadership requires us to think strategically, systemically, and creatively. We must create opportunities for voices other than our own, to contribute, for it is in the interplay of seemingly opposing ideas that creativity and innovation find a home. Amazon, eBay, Airbnb, and Uber did not start with the founders in mild agreement. Every big organisation today started as a small one. Leadership made it what it is today.

In a ubiquitous leadership organisation, leaders higher up in the organisation depend on the leadership ability of those they lead. When we do not take up our leadership responsibility as co-workers and if we give our authority to others, we fail to lead. And we waste our potential and we do not boost the organisation we work for to become a better place for all – for employees, customers, suppliers and society at large. This is a very large ripple effect. It’s up to us to make it a positive, beneficial ripple.

When you act like a leader, you take the risk and others will look up to you. If you are working for an organisation that does not support your doing this, then find another organisation that appreciates your leadership competence. The best leaders also develop others to become highly skilled leaders. They’re not threatened by the success of others but take satisfaction in it. No matter the size of the organisation you work for, success rests with the talent in the organisation.  

If you are at or near the top of the apex in your organisation, look around you. Who are the people with ideas? Who challenges the mindless conventions? Who is willing to take a contrarian stand? Who is not afraid to express an opinion? Who can lead a team?

These are people that should be nurtured within your organisation. Not all ideas will be good ones, but you will be creating conversations about the improvement and advancement of the business goals. Environments that don’t foster creative thinking will see individuals always siding with authority and the effect of groupthink kicks in. In an organisation where leadership is ubiquitous, leaders ask questions, but they also listen to the questions they are being asked. 

No original thoughts are put into place or external suggestions accepted. They build silos, being protective of their space by shutting out new ideas and viewpoints. These silos become isolated and removed from reality as the world changes around them. 

When building a team via employees or business partners, look for leaders. Not only should you ask questions but the organisation is left behind as competitors take over the space.

Listen to the questions you are being asked. A true leader is willing to be challenged.

As we have noted many times here on RegInsights, businesses are transforming at a rapid rate. Technology is changing the landscape and businesses must now compete with the new economy. To cope with this sort of chaos-intensive environment we require people-centric, super-resilient organisations. Customer-facing people cannot wait for guidance and decisions from higher up. If they do, they frustrate the customer, who goes elsewhere. In our world customers have choices and they don’t stay where they are disrespected. The organisation is left behind as competitors take over the space.

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1 Comment

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