The single most innovative concept in the 21st century is the systematic process of leadership development. Companies, churches, sports teams, self - employed, students, professionals, and individuals are all craving leadership. Leadership experts like Jim Collins (Good to Great) and Peter Senge of MIT (The 5th Discipline) write that leadership will be the competitive advantage for companies in the 21st century. LIFE Leadership behind the systems genius of Orrin Woodward and processing genius of Chris Brady have collaborated to accomplish the task that everyone is looking for, the systematic process of leadership development.
Companies and people have never before been under as much pressure to get the answers to their financial problems. It appears that everyone is looking to the politicians but results won’t come from a world of entitlements or special deals. People of integrity won’t sell their principles to the highest bidder or the best deal. That’s why those who figure out how to fill the void of leadership will help solve the pressing issues of the 21st century. In addition, factors driving companies and people into the leadership genre are, an unimaginative educational system, bureaucratic hierarchies, and limited job advancement. Simply stated people want results and leaders get them.
Let’s take a look at some of the steps that must come together to achieve a systematic process of leadership development. A leadership culture must be established. A culture is a unique combination of processes and priorities within an organization. A systematic process achieves the result. To get the result the systematic process must be used. MIT’s Edward Schein, one of the world’s leading scholars on organizational culture says, “Culture is a way of working together toward common goals that have been followed so frequently and successfully that people don’t even think about trying to do things another way. If a culture has formed, people will autonomously do what they need to do to be successful.” A cornerstone to developing a leadership culture is learning incrementally. In the busy world of limited budgets, time and cost effectiveness must be considered. How many of us know of companies or people who have spent a weekend at a convention getting as much information as possible in the shortest period of time? The cost for those meetings runs from $100’s to $1000’s of dollars. Most everyone comes back with the same behaviors and attitudes they went with but gets the credit that they attended the meeting. Human beings learn in small doses. In fact, we learn when we are ready to learn not when we are being taught. Effective learning is facilitated when all the senses like listening (audio), reading (visual), and spatial (association) are used.
Examples of previous organizations that came close to achieving a systematic process of leadership development are Jack Welch from GE and Sam Walton from Walmart. Welch exploded on the scene when he implemented concentrated brainstorming gatherings at Crotonville and left a legacy known as Six Sigma. Don Soderquist writes about the early Walmart culture in his book, ‘The Walmart Way.’ He describes how Sam Walton developed the early Walmart culture where everyone shared in the same values and purposes. Walton initiated a generous stock plan where everyone felt like they were partners. He challenged the technology of the day when he reinvented supply chain economics. The mission of these two leaders aligned their purpose with that of their employees, and created a culture that aligned their priorities with their employees. The results were two of the biggest companies in the world.
An organization grows when leaders align in common purpose. What is the long - term vision of your company, church, team, or on a personal level, marriage or parenting? Vision is an advanced announcement of a future reality. It creates a tension between where the leader is and where the leader is going. The delay that takes place from the current circumstances and the future reality makes it possible to develop the leaders effectiveness. Two of the biggest leadership qualities that increase their influence are vision and competency. While the vision is being achieved the leader matures, develops perspective, and broadens understanding. A leader becomes competent which creates a compounding effect on their influence. Best selling author’s Orrin Woodward and Chris Brady write about how the leaders influence becomes compounded in their book, ‘Launching a Leadership revolution.’ They describe a concept called the, “Tri – Lateral Leadership Ledger.” The culmination of vision with competency added to the leadership quality of character multiplies a leader’s influence. True leadership then becomes a product more of our character than what we do, but when what we do is the product of who we are, it flows out of our heart effortlessly.
Every company, every church, every team, and every school wants results. Employees, owners, students, ministers, professionals, and individuals want advancement and security. When the culture recognizes and rewards those for performance, leaders rise. They begin to establish new habits that come from disciplined practice. New habits effect our personal lives or job performance. Developing qualities like perseverance, accountability, and integrity enhance the end result that everyone is looking for, improved performance, relationships, and character. This all leads to better results. How many companies or individuals have become vulnerable to the forces that have derailed them? How many companies or individuals are thinking they are fulfilled when they wake up in the morning?
The combination of a systematic process of leadership development that aligns one’s priorities has not been seen in the 21st century until LIFE Leadership. When an individual, company, church, team, student or professional begins to utilize this concept, they will create a culture of leadership that will be the single most innovative concept in the 21st century. God Bless, George Guzzardo