“The self-managing team phenomenon reflects a general evolution force in our society that presently is moving us away form the traditionally observed bureaucratic organizations toward more participative forms of controlling work activity.”
Dr. James R. Barker “The Discipline of Teamwork.”
I first started to think about leadership when I was in the U.S. Army. During that time, one of their recruiting slogans was “be all that you can be”. There was a nice rhyme to it – “be all that you can be in the U.S. Army”. The words had a nice flow together, sound together. It was quite motivational. That is when I started thinking about leadership.
But let’s think about what leadership does particularly as we jump to the present. Leadership tells you “to be all that you can be” whether it be a transformational leader, an authentic leader, or whatever leader you choose to be. Bottom line – be the best leader you can be.
There is a problem. If you are just focused on yourself – that is, being the best you can be- whether transformational, authentic, or whatever you want to call it – it directs your attention away from what the organization needs. That’s the disconnect.
We see that disconnect all of the time when we think of leadership as just a psychological or cultural factor. Leadership within organizations carries an organizational factor that we must consider. So, the question that you need to ask yourself comes from a different perspective:
How can I be the leader that my organization needs me to be right now? That’s the key question. Think about that one!
How can I be the leader that my organization needs me to be . . . Right now! How do you answer the question?
One of the ways to get started is to think about what conditions are required to be in place for others to be successful. Focus your attention on putting conditions in place others need, to create the value they need to create. Start looking to see what your subordinates, team, peers, and even your boss need you to do to help them be successful.
Organizations require leaders who are able to bring out the collective knowledge and talents of their teams. When leaders create conditions for others to succeed, organizations have the strength to navigate the complexities of an ever-changing work environment.
Dr. James R. (Jim) Barker is a globally recognized expert in complex organizational behavior, ethics, and strategy who holds specific expertise in leadership, safety, change management, and stakeholder engagement. CFAME Connection is delighted to advise that Jim has graciously agreed to share his research in future posts.