March 3, 2012
Management gurus and theorists persistently seek an impossible formula – the universal recipe for successful management and leadership. Is there truly one perfect formula for leadership?
Gary Hamel, who according to the Wall Street Journal is one of the world’s most influential business thinkers, proclaims, “For the first time since the dawning of the industrial age, the only way to build a company that’s fit for the future is to build one that’s fit for human beings”. In looking at the art behind leadership, one would be amiss to not address the importance of a leader’s ability (and a manager’s ability) to create an environment where his/her team members can motivate, manage and lead themselves to success. Your role is to ensure that each member has an intrapreneurial mindset; this mindset allows them to think beyond their own self interest and engage in a larger vision with the teams (organizations) goal. In order to build such a team you must understand the core attributes of an intrapreneur. They are confident, politically and business savvy, networkers, innovators and risk takers. Beverley Hamilton describes these characteristics in more detail:
To create such an environment, you will want to reward the behavior you want to see; allow room in your organization for risk taking (as scary as this may be – think of the innovative rewards); provide an open and accountable environment; ensure strategy discussions occur before, during and after every decision, win and/or failure; always start and end with the customer in mind; always strive to deliver a better value to your customers; and have an internal process for on-going process/product/service improvement!
To begin this journey, you will want your copy of Leadership From Ordinary to Extraordinary: The Character of a Leader in front of you – it is an excellent guide for your journey!