- August 06, 2015
- Events & Posts
I love what Seth Godin says about leadership: “The secret of leadership is simple: do what you believe in. Paint a picture of the future. Go there. People will follow.”
So do we still need titles in today’s world to lead people, teams and organizations? The answer is no. Roles and titles have radically changed in almost all aspects of our lives as a result of social, economical and technological change.
The social era has reshaped the way we communicate too. In the past, people used to depend on magazines and TV-news to be informed, while now everyone, everyday, take photos or videos and write news that are quickly shared on social networks and blogs, often before journalists do. Instead, the latter are increasingly relying on people’s data and shared information to do their job.
So what about leadership nowadays? Let’s introduce the message according to which “traditional leadership” is obsolete. This is not a call to anarchy. Instead, this is a call to “personal responsibility”. In the world of everything-connected and social tribes each of us has the responsibility to be a leader in the way we think, believe and behave.
As a coach, advisor and entrepreneur I am happy to have had the chance to meet some titans of these days, people who have achieved huge results in their careers and are living amazing lives. What I’ve learned most by meeting icons of leadership such as Richard Branson and Robin Sharma, is that installing a culture of 100% of responsibility is the key to extraordinary success in business, and that everyone can be a leader in what they do.
In a few words that means:
- Mastering what you do
- Showing consistently the behaviour you wish to see in others
- Impacting through your “customer wow” attitude to serve
- Growing more leaders
To me, growing leaders at every level of an organization is the most important responsibility of a leader and a fundamental law to build an amazing company. If you are not growing more leaders you are not leading, then you are following, and growing more leaders means showing them how to do what they thought was impossible to do.
Gone are the days when the the word “leader” actually meant “boss”, the one who knew and the only one who could take decisions and initiatives. Things have radically changed inside organizations. Hierachical structures are being replaced by horizontal organizational structures; the most innovative companies are those that cultivate a creative mindset at every level and in every department of their organizations.
That’s the case of the recent unlimited vacation policy at Virgin, as well as at other Silicon Valley companies like Netflix and Evernote, that allow their the company’s employees to take as many vacation days as they want. The idea is that employees can take as much paid time off as they want, as long as they get their work done. No need to ask for approvals, just personal responsibilty to get things done, in order to improve loyalty and create a “no excuse” culture at work.
So, each of us has full responsibility for his/her actions, either involving personal and professional life. It follows that we are all leaders of what we do, even if we have no formal titles.
As parents, educators, employees, managers, teachers, coaches, we are responsible for our own performance and, inevitably, this affect related performances too. Time has come to keep away from excuses and “victim-culture” since our results are always the combination of our actions and decisions. So the true leader of this era, is the one who has reached full awareness of this responsibility, and behaves to reach peak performance everyday.
If you would like to go deeper into this topic, you can’t miss our powerful 4-day “Executive Lead Without a Title™ –Leaders growing Leaders” workshop in the amazing Rome!
Looking forward to seeing you in Rome!
Paolo Zaccardi – CEO