Leaders challenge the status quo. Leaders create a culture around their goals and involve others in that culture. Leaders have an extraordinary amount of curiosity about the world they’re trying to change.
~Seth Godin, Tribes
This is the most exciting time for business the world has ever known. The walls of command and control management are crumbling. Business leaders are finding greater success by engaging their teams, listening to them, understanding what employees are doing and giving them the right mix of support and autonomy.
Shifting paradigms is not for the faint of heart, but then again neither is leading a company. These 5 articles delve into the revolutionary ideas and practices of several forward-thinking leaders. Only time will tell if they will succeed, but at least they are courageously shedding methods that have proven to fail. And that is a step in the right direction.
Pierre Nanterme, CEO of global professional services firm, Accenture, will get rid of annual performance reviews and rankings for its hundreds of thousands of employees. Accenture is not alone, other massive companies like Adobe have opted to replace the dreaded yearly review with a more informal process coupled with regular communication. And according to management research firm CEB, six percent of Fortune 500 companies have also done away with rankings.
Nanterme calls this a “massive revolution” in Accenture’s internal operations. They will implement a more fluid system in which employees receive timely feedback from their managers on an ongoing basis. Nanterme believes that leadership is about finding the right people and providing them with “the freedom, the authority, the delegation to innovate and to lead with some very simple measure.”
By: Paul Rosenfeld
Imagine a world where you don’t have to choose between being at your keyboard or spending time with your kids. Ryan Carson, CEO of Treehouse, didn’t just imagine it. He created it.
The Monday to Thursday schedule has proven that more hours doesn’t necessarily equate to more productivity. Treehouse has grown to over 135,000 customers and 85 full-time employees by putting their employees first. Perhaps they grew so rapidly because working less increased the frequency of innovation. But the impetus for this radical shift was to improve people’s lives, not business outcomes. Ryan takes ridiculously good care of people because he believes that it’s the right thing to do.
By: Mark C. Crowley
Raising employee engagement has become a massive priority for organizations everywhere. Rebecca Ray PhD, executive vice president for human capital and engagement research at The Conference Board recently led a study to define the DNA of highly-engaged organizations.
Ray suggests that Quicken Loans, one of the study-participants, may be the most actualized employer on planet Earth. Led by founder and Chairman Dan Gilbert, Quicken has created a positive and enabling workforce par excellence. Gilbert is revolutionizing leadership by creating a culture of kindness, where principles (not commands) inform employee decisions.
By: Tim Ferriss
Let me be clear, I am not advocating for or against war. I am also not endorsing any political party. Suffice it to say that war is a reality and there needs to be leadership in military operations. Retired 4-star general, Stan McChrystal, is regarded as one of the finest American military leaders.
Tim asks General McChrystal an interesting and surprising question, “What can low to mid-level management do to encourage a more decentralized, agile, and flexible work environment?” He responds with these 3 pieces of sage advice:
1. Reduce limiting rules other than those that limit immoral or illegal behavior. Rules are excuses for not accomplishing the task.
2. Stress rapid decision-making by qualified people closest to the problem. A decent decision now is better than a great decision 2 days from now.
3. Accept mistakes and failure if the organization and employees learn from them.
Looks like General McChrystal makes a stellar business leader as well.
By: Alex Turnbull
I don’t like to throw around the word hero, ‘cause what’s a hero? But any self-respecting business blogger has to admire the Groove Blog. Alex is revolutionizing blogging and leadership, and shares his advice for other startup CEOs.
The best CEOs and managers are coaches. They help with goal-setting and course correcting, but one of the biggest impacts they have is coaching employees through the aftermath of failure. Alex understands the value of connecting with his people regularly and shares that “you can’t coach a player unless you understand their skills, goals, challenges and concerns. It’s your job to know that about everyone.”
Leaders come in all shapes and sizes. They can be CEOs of large multi-national corporations or mid-level managers. Business leaders can even be front-line employees who stay twenty minutes late to help the new guy. The common denominator is that they all have the courage to try new things to make businesses better places to work and this world a better place to live.
Never look back is a solid philosophy but is not applicable to every situation. If you’re driving on a busy freeway, for example, you...Read More