Leaders: “Because” or “Be the Cause?”

Be the Cause

My first graduate qualification was in Communication Studies and it was consistently lectured that communication should be clear and concise.

This concept pre-dates the 140-character Twitter-style update. But it utilises this same understanding:

Attention needs to be grabbed and then retained if you’re to make a lasting impact with the intention of affecting future behaviour.

So it is with reluctance in homage to my communications background that I take the single word ‘because’ and section it into three words: ‘Be the Cause

On Journalism and Business Practices

Good businesses follow the construct of good news stories.

The recipe for success is this formula:

  • What
  • Where
  • Why
  • When
  • How
  • Who

Focussing on the “Why” (as this is the cornerstone of great businesses and the other questions are ‘operational / management issues’ and therefore not necessarily concerned with the act of leadership):

Often ‘leaders’ ask people to do things……because.

Sometimes this is followed by a statement or statements designed to instil fear in the heart of the target or with the hope it will ‘inspire’ (you cannot motivate anyone, motivation comes from within, it is intrinsic.  Extrinsic influence designed to affect someone is inspiration), coerce or somehow result in desired action.

A simple paradigm shift will spare you the manipulation and avoid mediocrity.  It is not a quick fix but it is always effective.

Don’t use “Because”, use “Be the Cause”

People want purpose.  They don’t want reasons and they certainly don’t want excuses.  They can’t really be motivated by money or driven by desire if you want the right outcomes (see global financial meltdown for evidence!)

They want to understand what their efforts are contributing.  They want to be part of something bigger and meaningful.  Once they understand what it is your organisation is trying to achieve (the WHY), they will give discretionary effort because they believe in ‘the cause’.

This isn’t a mission statement or vision pinned to the corridor walls of HQ – this is the essence of every activity you undertake minute by minute, hour by hour, day by day and year by year.

You need to ask them to ‘be the cause’ not act because……..

Be True to the Cause

Hard Questions:

Are sales figures down?  Are competitors creeping in to your market share?

Easy Answers:

Change your market!  Change your target.

In fact, change pretty much anything so long as it doesn’t change your cause.

Core Values

But know this: If you change your core values, they were never real values; they were just fancy marketing tools and gimmicks.

Think of any long-standing organisation and question how many times they’ve changed their core values.  They may have diversified or innovated but their core values have remained constant.

Many banks and lenders changed their core values to capitalise on the huge profits to be made from irresponsible lending and dubious business transactions.  In 2008 and the preceding years, many great institutions fell.  Those who remain never changed their core values.

They were clear, they wished to ‘be true to the cause’ that founded them; and they were right to do so.

Constant AND Changing?

This is often seen as an oxymoron but it’s not.  Your values are constant and your product / service offering is changing through a natural process of evolution.  You are not changing your ’cause’ even if you stop doing one thing and start doing another.  You can change the ‘what’ without ever changing the ‘why’.

Remember – people work best for ‘the cause’ and customers will remain because they also believe in ‘the cause’.

It’s Never Too Late

If you’re off course, it’s time to get back on now.

Take the 1st opportunity you have to revisit your core values.  Understand what your own core values are and whether you are truly living YOUR leadership.

If there’s conflict, it’s time to move on.  You probably wouldn’t compromise on price; salary; benefits and other contractual obligations so why compromise on your ‘cause’?

By living your ‘cause’, you and your business will attract like-minded people, your ‘cause’ will become part of the offering to customers and clients; colleagues and investors alike.

A lot of people talk about ‘value add’ to your products and services, I recommend you start thinking about ‘adding values’ to your offering.

It’s what we do

Quite simply, ‘be the cause’ is the pro-active living of your own personal and organisational values.



Never miss an issue of Linked 2 Leadership, subscribe today.
Learn, Grow & Develop Other Leaders

Colin Millar is Director at Cloud Management Systems

He is an Official Ambassador of the Chartered Management Institute 
Email | LinkedIn | Twitter | Facebook | Web | Skype: colin_b_millar

Image Sources: cache1.bigcartel.com

The 6 Key Indicators of Leadership

Race Car Engine

Effective leadership is not a single act or facet. Rather, it is multitudinous. It’s like a well-oiled, fine-tuned performance machine.

It is not embodied in a single role or person, but is the life that runs through an organisation.

Without leadership, the organisation or entity ceases to move. It is much like an engine driving a vehicle forward. If the engine stops working, the wheels don’t move anyone or anything forward.

Effective Leadership Model

To understand the working components of effective leadership, one needs to be familiar with what an effective leadership model looks like.

Q: So how do you know if effective leadership is present in your:

  • Organisation
  • Business
  • or Department?

A: Look for the Key Indicators (KI)

Identifying 6 Key Indicators

There are some Key Indicators that, if present, indicate effective leadership is running on all cylinders and moving your team, business, and organization into a strong future. Without them your organization may just be sitting on the side of the road.

1) Core Values

The core values of the organisation are understood and openly lived through the people delivering or interacting with the business.

Ask people the values of the organisation they’re working in.  If they rhyme off a list of adjectives in perfect harmony, you can be assured they’re living ‘leadership by diktat’.  There will be a policy document or set of statements pinned to every wall and conformity.  True leadership has people doing the right things because it’s the ‘way’ it’s done and they don’t really have to think about it.

These values remain long after the big chair in the boardroom has been vacated by one and occupied by another.

2) High Levels of Autonomy

In organisations where great leadership is present, everyone understands their role and function alongside the critical nature of their input.  They don’t need constant supervision and external motivation.

They believe in what they’re doing and they push themselves to do it the way it should be done.

3) Change is an Opportunity

Change is viewed as an opportunity to redefine rather than a malignant threat.

Great leadership is the ability to recognise the external and internal environment and mould it into a viable opportunity to shine whilst aiding those around you to understand the true value of the opportunity you are presented with.

They can grow like flowers reaching for the sun.

4) Sustainable Business Model

The business remains sustainable and viable across generations of ‘leaders’.

Leadership must be perpetual. Intermittent leadership is not real leadership and great businesses are such because they have cultivated great leaders.  This isn’t effective succession planning (although that is important); this is the unity of cause across all staff past, present and future.

Effective leadership through people doing it the sustainable way ensures the organisation lives through its people.

5) Like-Minded Synergies

The business attracts other like-minded businesses to engage in partnership working because of shared values and vision and this can be openly and honestly explored and accepted or rejected without animosity or fear.

Often, the focus is on internal relations and machinations, but in reality true “leadership,” is an aura that emanates and is visible to those outside as well as inside the organisation.

People genuinely understand what your business is about; how it does its business and they like it.

6) Knowing the Whole Picture

Above all else, leaders should not be judged on their results alone,  but on how those results are achieved and the longevity and sustainability of their impact long after they have left the role.

Good leaders have an immediate impact, great leaders leave a legacy.

So what are you doing at your organization to make sure that all the key indicators are present and working in tune with each other? How can you give your leaders a diagnostic test and “tune-up” to make sure that you are creating a sustainable leadership environment? What is it going to take to get you over the finish line in first place? I would love to hear your thoughts!


Never miss an issue of Linked 2 Leadership, subscribe today.
Learn, Grow & Develop Other Leaders

Colin Millar is Operations Manager for the CRBS in Scotland
He is an Official Ambassador of the Chartered Management Institute 

Email | LinkedIn | Twitter | Facebook | Skype: colin_b_millar

Image Sources: 4.bp.blogspot.com

The Tao of Business Strategy


Tao is a Chinese term meaning the ‘way’ or ‘route.’ 

The Tao of Business Strategy is a simple, highly-effective path to creating the kind of business strategy you need. your staff desire; your stakeholders demand and will create wider social and global benefit for generations to come.

Taoism recognises the interconnectivity of all things.  The Tao of Business Strategy recognises that strategy is intertwined with business success and the development of great people who will go on to create further great businesses in the future.

There is no ‘easy’ way to create a great business strategy, it will always require hard work; intense questioning and rigorous planning but this Tao provides 3 basic steps (jewels) to getting the essence right.

===============================================L2L Helping Hands

L2L Helping Hands  Needs You Now!
:: Need 150 People to Fill Out Survey on “Leadership Trust” by Friday
:: Help Mark Walker with his Leadership Ph.D thesis :: Click Here


Your Why?

Start by creating and defining your own thunder, your raison d’etre, the very reason why your business exists – the thing you’re passionate about.

Getting this right will feed a simple yet effective statement of the future as you see it (your ‘vision’) and encapsulate your reason for doing what you’re doing (your ‘mission’).

Tell the world what you’re about.

If they believe in your thunderous ‘Why’, they will support you even when things don’t go according to plan.

If you’re passionate about it, you’ll attract others who are passionate about it too.  Think Apple here – they don’t have ‘customers’, they have ‘supporters!’

Your What?

This will explain ‘What’ your business will be doing. Be it making widgets or tilting the axis on which the world rotates. It should absolutely link in to and support ‘Your Why’.

These will be your ‘objectives’ and they should support your mission and move you toward your vision.

If they don’t, then you’ve got something wrong and now’s the time to go back and review where the gap is.

It also covers (in the planning stages) these important things:

  • What’s required
  • What’s expected
  • What’s within and outside acceptable tolerance
  • What will be your Unique Selling Proposition (USP)
  • And so on.

Leave nothing to chance, create plan A, B, C and so on.

Doing this will make clear your expectations to your team and to your shareholders whilst attracting supporters. It will also help in describing the wider benefits to society.

Your How?

Now you know ‘What’ you’re going to be doing and ‘Why’ you’re doing it, it’s time to start thinking about How you’re going to make it happen

You have to know how you are going to get your message to the masses and get the various component parts together.

Emanating from this will be the ‘when’ and ‘who,’ but these are logistical or operational considerations, not strategic ones.

Your goal here is this:

Get the team who can deliver on your strategy not the strategy that your team can deliver.


The natural law of ‘cause and effect’, Karma suggests that if you do good things, good things will continue to emanate from it, a positive ripple from a single act thrown into a still pool of water.

This Tao is designed to ensure that you do ‘good things’ in order that good things are visited

Upon you your

  • Business
  • Colleagues
  • Friends
  • Investors
  • Customers
  • And the wider community

This is because it places that wider altruism at the very heart of everything that your business exists to achieve and believes in.

Of course, merely doing good deeds is not enough. Success will require continually checking on progress; avoiding mission-creep, and digression, hubris or complacency.

A strong moral compass, combined with a defining mission-statement and a code of ethical practice, coupled with the kind of integrity that epitomizes professional leaders and managers is the winning combination. If you embody these ideals, it will ensure that you stay on the Tao, creating professional and ethical practice for generations to come.

So what are you doing to understand Your Why, What and How in your business? How can you evaluate what you are doing and recalibrate so that you get on a better path? What sort of balance are you creating in your personal world that can impact your business life? I would love to hear your thoughts!


Never miss an issue of Linked 2 Leadership, subscribe today.
Learn, Grow & Develop Other Leaders

Colin Millar is Operations Manager for the CRBS in Scotland
He is an Official Ambassador of the Chartered Management Institute and EFQM Business Excellence Practitioner & Assessor

Email | LinkedIn | Twitter | Facebook | Skype: colin_b_millar

Image Sources: artura.net

Enhanced by Zemanta

On Leadership and Economic Combat

Parachuting Managers

The recent trend has moved toward ‘parachuting’ successful managers into troubled zones as a quick, easy way to improve performance. 

However, the analogy between combat and performance management doesn’t stop at ‘parachuting.’

Economic Combat

When it comes to making a point memorable, it is often recommended to build compelling illustrative word-pictures to communicate effectively. So, below I am using word-pictures from vivid illustrations in combat to help show how to better understand performance management.

Missing in Action

The extraction of a high performing manager from their normal area of business on a special mission will be a motivating and rewarding factor for a short period of time.

However, as they assist one platoon, their former colleagues may well become de-motivated with their figurehead missing in action; resulting in  the performance of the home regiment starting to wane and suffer.


The “paratrooper” may start to fatigue.  We all like a challenge but prefer ‘stress’ in short bursts to ensure optimal personal performance.   Sustained exposure to such pressure will lead to battle fatigue and the leader will start to become disillusioned and disheartened.

Effect on Morale

The deployment of star troopers in someone else’s platoon is going to have a negative impact on morale – the standing leader will most likely  resent the external interference.  This is the military equivalent to “boots on the ground.”

The receiving team may also be suspicious of the motives.  This will be worsened if there is a lack of a clear remit and boundaries, leaving mission creep a very real possibility.

Withdrawing the Special Forces

The last pitfall comes when the parachutist is extracted. If the remit has been to improve performance they’ve likely achieved this however  unless they’ve ‘up-skilled’ the local commander, performance will nosedive when they leave.

Combat Strategy

 Leaders and managers have 3 responsibilities:

  • Short term
  • Medium term
  • Long term

Parachuting high performing managers into low performing areas will have a positive impact in the short-term.

You need to think about is the medium and long-term.  How do you make this short tour of duty productive and constructive?  This is where  many recent military missions have hit hard times.

The first goal is to improve performance. Clear objectives, goals and timescales will make sure both the “green beret” and the ground commander are aware of organisational expectations.


Make sure everyone in the ‘drop zone’ is aware of the mission through clear and open communication.  Involve them in discussions about performance and expectations and make sure they understand their role and remit in achieving these.

Create alliances and makes changes with them and not to them.

Coach and Mentor

No point sorting peripheral issues – get the root cause.  Use this time to coach / mentor the ground commander so they’re aware of what you’re doing or planning to do, why and what you expect to achieve as a result of it.

Help them understand what works and why.  This will build sustainable, improved performance in the medium and long-term.

Coaching and mentoring should be part of a much wider learning strategy which is properly designed; deployed and evaluated to ensure the objectives in relation to personnel are met as well as improving organisational performance.

Have an Exit Strategy

Be very clear on the timescales and stick to them.  If there’s no improvement in the agreed timescale, go to Plan B because Plan A clearly isn’t working.  Clear objectives and timescales will also avoid mission-creep.

Use Your Crack Team Sparingly

These people likely have a full-time role within your organisation already and will not appreciate being ‘dropped’ all over the organisation to sort out personnel and performance issues.

Remember this is your elite team, they also require regular training and skills updates; personal development and team bonding time with their own troops, so use them sparingly and only where other strategies have failed.


Speak to everyone involved, capture feedback and learning points and incorporate these into future missions then bring the mission to a formal close.


My goal in this communique is to illustrate, in stark terms, what it means to be an effective leader within an organization during stressful times. In any given period, people in organizations need to work in concert to perform tasks that achieve operational objectives so that something great is achieved. Combat, war, and confrontation are poignant examples of meeting these challenges.

So, what type of economic challenges is your organization facing now? How are you leading your troops in these times? Are you effective in your efforts, or are you facing imminent demise? How does looking at organizational challenges through the lens of combat help you gain perspective on “your battlefield” of daily work? I would love to hear your thoughts!

Colin Millar is Operations Manager for the CRBS in Scotland
He is an Official Ambassador of the Chartered Management Institute and EFQM Business Excellence Practitioner & Assessor

Email | LinkedIn | Twitter | Facebook | Skype: colin_b_millar

Image Sources: actualitte.com

Enhanced by Zemanta

On Leadership and The “Jedi Generation”

Jedi Generation

A Long time ago……

The “Jedi Generation” are people defined not by age, but by commonality in belief and behaviour; a unity of cause and altruism energising their lives.

They are a generation bound by raison d’être.

Star Wars charted the fall and rise of the Jedi Order, a sect of highly gifted individuals seeking to maintain peace and equilibrium across the galaxy whilst battling the internalised personal conflict possession that great power creates.

Having grown up watching the movies (repeatedly), it strikes me the parables told across this epic saga may actually hold clues as to the trajectory of the business galaxy too.

The Empire

Moving from self-sufficiency, ‘organisations’ were created and evolved into large corporate monoliths operating empirically.  There was strength in unity and uniformity.

Power and knowledge became centralised and shared sparingly and with the ‘gifted few’.  Fear was wielded as a powerful motivational tool by the Emperor and his trusted Commanders (note the distinct absence of any women in the higher echelons of the Imperial ranks echoing the lack of women in senior positions in the business galaxy.)

The Dark Lords of the Sith, gaining power initially through consent then refused to yield once it was in their grip.  Such regimes ensured orders, no matter how questionable, were executed without hesitation, the consequences of disobedience too great for the individuals tasked with doing ‘thy bidding.’

Dawn of the “Jedi Generation”

A new generation, tired of oppressive cultures and monopolised benefits and aided by some wise but elusive veterans, bode a return to the ancient art of spiritual and cerebral engagement whilst seeking to create and live in work / life harmony.

These people are the emerging “Jedi Generation!”

Just like in the saga, the “Jedi Generation” is ready to wrestle power away from the Empire and use this for much wider and more dispersed benefit.

Power to influence

Rather than pontificate their wisdom to the masses and expecting blind compliance, this new generation will understand the power of influence and work hard to use their team’s internal motivators to act for the benefit of the team.

The Jedi Generation will continue and extend the mantra “Sell, not tell!’

The objective will be to create emotional and intellectual engagement with their colleagues and companions.  Unlike the mythical Jedi, this “consensus” will be achieved through ethical and moral alignment between organisational and individual goals rather than coercion.


Similar to the ‘Rebel Alliance’ that forms across the saga, the “Jedi Generation” will bring their skills to bear in pursuit of a common goal or strategy before once again disbanding and pursuing their own personal and/or professional goals.

Collaboration will feature heavily in short bursts and multiple roles will become the accepted (expected?) norm for gifted people.  The “Jedi Generation” must work tirelessly to achieve harmony and not restrict their efforts to a single team, cause, or environment.

Using the ‘Force’

In the way the mythical Jedi rely on the ‘Force’ to guide them; the “Jedi Generation” will rely on their highly attuned political and emotional intelligence to read situations to guide their actions and reactions with incredible accuracy and react to achieve exceptional results.

Dynamic Command

As demonstrated in the saga, the Jedi command is mobile, dynamic and fluid.  Leadership responsibility is spread across a number of the Order or a single, consensually appointed leader at any given time before the position is ceded and a new leader steps forth.

This truly is situational and servant leadership.

The group will recognise congruence in their leader and the alignment they create with their own personal beliefs.

Battle Commences

Armed with their MSc; PhD; 3G; formal and informal power; extended reach through the web and increasing discontent with the incumbent empirical management, “The Jedi Generation” is coming; whether you’re Sith or Jedi, the battle in business dawns.

Colin Millar is Operations Manager for the CRBS in Scotland
He is an Official Ambassador of the Chartered Management Institute and EFQM Business Excellence Practitioner & Assessor

Email | LinkedIn | Twitter | Facebook | Skype: colin_b_millar

Image Sources:  farm1.static.flickr.com

Enhanced by Zemanta

Guerrillas in the Midst

Guerrillas at Work

Are you working with guerrillas in your midst?

Business is descending into all those clichés again: “dog eat dog”, “rat race”, “law of the jungle.’ Those not able to compete fairly will have to take the gloves off and fight dirty.

Warning people: we have guerrillas in the midst.

When working with guerrillas, think of a hand grenade with the pin out – you can scrabble around trying to put it back in and suffer serious damage, or you can accept the situation and get safe distance between you and the danger. It’s about damage limitation and staying alive.

Knowing The Terrain

Guerrillas hang around senior staff telling them about all the great teamwork they’re doing; all the problems they’ve solved whilst juxtaposing this against the ‘failures’ of people like you.

Truth doesn’t matter – this is all about perception.

Don’t assume you’ll straighten all this out in some fact-finding exercise, that ain’t going to happen. Guerrillas utilise gossip as a means of undermining your position and creating unsubstantiated doubt in the mind of your bosses.

Disguising their intentions, they’ll offer flattery and favours in front of the boss. Not wishing to seem maverick, you’re left to accept the offers without realising you’re now validating the gossip and rumour the guerrilla started – you’re incompetent and need their help.

Gathering Ammunition

Remember that police caution:

“….Anything you do or say may be taken down and given against you as evidence….”

Same rules apply!

Starting Ground Assault

Target lulled into a false sense of security, it’s time to strike. Withholding information; giving mixed messages across the teams and keeping everyone confused and divided, they’ll start to interpret what’s going for the boss, adding their own malignant slant.

Having created the illusion they’re a “team player.” they’ll now set about trying to surreptitiously show your “incompetence” and confirm their earlier gossiping.

Meetings become increasingly dangerous as seemingly random; “off the cuff” comments and questions fly, catching the target ill-prepared and off guard.

Fail to adequately respond and you’ll look incompetent, reinforcing the suggestions previously whispered behind your back; overreact and you’ll look incompetent and be seemingly aggressive toward Saint Colleague who’s been working hard to give you all the help they can.

Sit on the fence and the guerrilla will become passive aggressive – that subtle manipulation which backs you in to a corner in a play which suggests you’re indecisive and/or incapable of making a decision.

Your Survival Kit

Hold Your Ground

You need to have some strategies of your own to avoid becoming a casualty of war.

  • Asked for information you weren’t expecting? Gently ask why they need it, it wasn’t part of the meeting’s agenda and therefore you haven’t prepared but you’ll have the information with them shortly. If it’s that important, ask for a short recess whilst you get the data they so urgently required right now.
  • Find it hard to pin them down. If your requests are met with verbal gymnastics, try summarising what they’ve said and ask for a definitive response, complete with commitments on time; resource; desired outcomes etc. Don’t stop until you’ve pinned them down.
  • Knocking all your ideas in front of the boss? Ask them what their solutions are. Guerrillas make themselves look smarter by knocking your ideas but don’t be sucked in, put it back to them – what are their suggestions. If they don’t know what the answer is, they can’t possibly know what it’s not so point out they’ve rejected your ideas off hand and emphasise their unreasonable behaviour without having to say another word.
  • Beware silence – guerrillas know that people hate silence and feel compelled to fill that void with rambling. Don’t do it – you’ll say or do something you’ll regret later. If the silence continues, ask if they’re done and excuse yourself; you’ve got other stuff that needs your attention.

Give them the Command

Guerrillas are incompetent leaders, so put them in charge at every opportunity, involve them in everything and let their own incompetence be their ultimate downfall. Don’t try to alienate them, as the old adage goes “keep your friends close and your enemies closer.”

Fight another Day

Above all, when the flash attack commences, stay calm and congruent. Stay true to yourself and eventually the guerrilla will be seen for what they are.

You can afford to lose the battle and still win the war. Keep your team on side, stick to your principles and leave the guerrilla exposed. They’re ill prepared for a long, drawn out battle but that’s exactly what you want.

Colin Millar is Operations Manager for the CRBS in Scotland
He is an Official Ambassador of the Chartered Management Institute and EFQM Business Excellence Practitioner & Assessor

Email | LinkedIn | Twitter | Facebook | Skype: colin_b_millar

Image Sources: nedrebos.com

Leadership Hybrid Theory: Dawn of the “Leadager”


It’s the 21st century and, being an ‘evolved species’, we’ve come to recognise the need for progressive adaptation in response to external stimuli and environmental conditions to maintain competitive advantage.

Civilised society has put comfortable distance between ‘natural selection’ and survival.

Creating the Corporate

From perpetual battles under empirical regimes to co-operative negotiation and global trading through ‘organisations,’ complex corporate structures emerged.

These monoliths aligned behind key strategic goals and objectives, their functions deliberate;

  • Contrived
  • Planned
  • Projected
  • Measured
  • Marketed
  • Invested in and on

Markets developed from parochial bazaars to global exchanges with the advent of an industrial revolution and mass production; standardisation and uniformity creating exponential growth for both businesses and markets.

The Birth of Management

In the transition from the battleground to the Board room emerged the “Manager,” bastion of the organisation and custodian of all resources, a individual in an elevated position whose responsibility was to co-ordinate efforts; create positive synergy and profit through supervision.

With the passing of time, ‘manager’ became a clichéd suffix to myriad job titles:

  • Process manager, R&D manager,Finance manager…
  • Facilities manager, Business development manager,General manage…
  • Production manager, Store manager, Brand manager…

…the list goes on…

If it’s a discernible function within an organisation – it needed a “manager” overseeing it even where that created oxymoron’s such as “creative manager” (is the creative process “managed” or “facilitated”?)

Management at Middle Age

Management became a ‘career aspiration’ but, unlike other professions, demonstrable ability through academic study and qualification or subjecting oneself to external scrutiny and assessment remains neither required nor revered.

Management became insular, an esoteric circle of superiors with notional power over their subordinates.

It developed meta-language.  It became scientific and transactional – demanding conformity to a single best way of doing something whilst rewarding compliance through a wage and ‘bit rate’ pay became the motivational tool.

The Rise of Leadership

But a peaceful revolution has been underway, usurping the “manager” and replacing them with the “leader”, a demi-mythical being whose omnipresence and omniscience; charisma and hypnotic oration of a utopian future captivates the mind where the manager can only command the body.

Today’s employees want an almost spiritual engagement with their employers.  Meaningful work is now the bedfellow of salary.

Subservience is no longer an intrinsic part of the psychological contract; respect is something people, and not positions, require to earn from their colleagues.

Offices have become open plan with nothing and no-one ‘off limits.’  Managers are subjected to ever greater scrutiny under the watchful gaze of their staff and are unable to hide behind closed doors and busy telephone extensions.

Traditional transactional management is being replaced with transformational traits in effective E.I.; NLP; coaching and mentoring.  Organisations are now expected to achieve employee engagement through devolved and dispersed power; greater autonomy for individuals and the alignment of personal and corporate values.

Interestingly, the revolution appears not to have had any affect on the bedrock of every organisation, ‘the bottom line’.  Investors still want a return on investment.

The Hybrid “Leadager”

It’s this dual track coupled with flatter, more open corporate structures that will mould the 21st century hybrid leader-manager, or what has been called a “Leadager.” This new professional is the skilled professional sitting on a continuum equidistant from traditional ‘managing’ and emergent ‘leading.’

It is the person responsible for synthesising the desires of the staff with the aspirations of the organisation; for sourcing and securing human and financial inputs and changing them into valuable outputs and outcomes.

The Perfect Blend

The hybrid will recognise and contextualise their actions and reactions as a result of a highly sensitive and evolved, situational radar that attunes responses psychoanalytically, leading to the kind of congruent behaviour that draws the trust; admiration and loyalty of their ‘colleagues’.

One eye on key performance metrics and management information, the other keenly trained on market fluctuations, emerging trends and opportunities, they remain cognisant of the agreed organisational mission their colleagues value.

The hybrid will need exceptional personal integrity; the ability to motivate and captivate, drawing many facets and disciplines together effortlessly.

Failure to keep up the highest standards will result in rejection from the group, hierarchical management being an anachronism replaced by consensual followership.

The Hybrid Road Ahead

They will be required to ‘communicate’ through emergent and emerging technologies as well as being able to hold court in more traditional settings, changing approach to match the preference of their audience, the spectrum ranging from 240 character updates to lengthy orations peppered with excited and inspiring vocal tones.

Recognising what it takes to motivate at an personal level, they’ll be coach and mentor to one; drill sergeant to another, providing the impetus that each member of the team requires, in the dose they need and when they need it.

The last great challenge facing this highly evolved person will be balancing collaborative; flat management structures with discretionary power whilst preventing “flash leadership” creating the kind of chemical combustion that will blow high performing teams apart instantaneously.

So what type of organizational “creature” are you? Are you a traditional manager? Are you an inspirational leader? Or are you perhaps a hybrid providing the best of both? What can you do to help provide more of these next-generational hybrid “leadagers” in your workplace? I would love to hear your thoughts!

Colin Millar is Operations Manager for the CRBS in Scotland
He is an Official Ambassador of the Chartered Management Institute and EFQM Business Excellence Practitioner & Assessor

Email | LinkedIn | Twitter | Facebook | Skype: colin_b_millar

Image Sources: 

Enhanced by Zemanta

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 43,128 other followers

%d bloggers like this: