Dave Birren has stated rather eloquently what I've long thought about how
we need to lead people today. We need to first understand that this
"interconnectedness" that he speaks about is there even when we look out
and we see nothing but chaos or worse, apathy. People are relating to each
other and to their perception of what is, whether we see it or not.
Leaders recognize this and struggle to lead from where their followers are
at - not the other way around. This means they must understand them in a
much more personal way than they have in the past and involve them in
everything they can.
Participation in the process, meaningful participation, is what will bring
us to the new company. People need to see themselves in the vision of the
company, otherwise we'll never get the kind of effort from them we need.
Also, employees need to be able to tuck the vision in their cheeks.......
"Whatever it Takes"..............."Absolutely, positively overnight." So
when their hearts are sometimes overruled by some old perceptions, they
can pull the vision out of their cheeks and re-focus.
I read an article in Training magazine on employee ownership. One major
point that the article made was that ownership without participation has
never been effective in bringing employees hearts into their work. Some
companies feel that encouraging employees to "own" part of the company
through stock purchase plans and ESOPs is enough to make employees
committed . The article points out that the evidence simply does not
support this conclusion. Employees need to participate in order to be
committed. Ownership of the company is a good way to help them share in
the rewards of that participation.
Finally, measurement is good. We need to do a much better job of measuring
what we can measure. But we also need to remind ourselves that there are
some things that will never be measured with anything but the heart. And
this measurement is just as valid as the measures we use on those things
we can measure empirically, objectively. It is the measures of the heart
that will help us look into the "chaos" of an indistinct future and see
the "order" that Birren speaks of.
Jim Ross Internet: JARoss@popalex1.linknet.net JARoss@aol.com
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