It’s Time for a New Style of Leadership

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It’s time for a new style of leadership. Today’s employees wants to work for an organization that they can feel proud of: an organization that has values and viewpoints compatible with their own; an organization that is oriented toward the long haul, working toward the prevention of ills, not just curing the symptoms; an organization that cares about morals and ethics, doing what is in the best interests of its clients; and an organization that cares about the impact it has on the environment. Employees want this because they recognize that such an organization will also care about them.

This new breed of employees knows that the kind of organization just described conducts a never-ending search for the best and brightest people; that it encourages managers to develop their people both personally and professionally; that it recognizes and rewards employees for their unique contributions; that it delegates responsibility not just accountability. They want to work for a company where they are encouraged to make a meaningful contribution; where procedures, policies, and paperwork are never more important than results; and where building bonds between people is considered as important as the bottom line. How do we get there you ask?

It’s time for a new style of leadership. Workers do not respond well to micromanagement or to being treated like cogs in a wheel. In order to increase workforce productivity, management has learned various theories, techniques, and approaches that are believed to motivate employees. But they are all based on the fundamental premise that it is management’s role to do the motivating–– that is, it is up to management to push employees toward certain behaviors or to control them in a certain way. Management can reward employees by giving them a promotion, a raise, or a pat on the back; they can reprimand, discipline, or fire them; they can create rules and procedures that give selected individuals the authority to make decisions over a minimum threshold. Or, managers can earn the respect of their colleagues through their expertise, their personal integrity, and their ability to foster trust. While reward, punishment, and authority come with an individual’s position, the most effective forms of management––respect, expertise, and trust—reside in the person and are earned over time.

Successful leaders know that today’s motivational techniques may satisfy employees only long enough to achieve short-term goals. If you supplement today’s forms of employee motivation by instilling a belief in your organization’s mission and stress the importance of every employee’s contribution, you bring about commitment that motivates people forever. The question is, “Is it possible to create this kind of environment and strive for market leadership?” The answer is, “You don’t have much of a choice.”

Additional Reading:
Attention Leaders: We Need to Talk
Leadership: Promoting Beliefs and Values
Are You Talking to Yourself?
Leadership: Creating a Vision

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Comments

  1. Al Smith says

    This is great Frank. One of the best i have read recently. I couldn’t agree more. Right in line with The CARE Movement principles. Love it.

    Take CARE.

    Al

  2. Dave Ursillo (DaveUrsillo.com) says

    Hi Frank,

    I just stumbled upon your work through a social media referral from Lolly Daskal– I’m really excited to find your work since it so closely aligns with what I hope to teach others about a new, evolved style of leadership as you discuss here. Really looking forward to getting to know your ideas better and I hope to connect with you further in the near future!

    Dave Ursillo
    Dave@DaveUrsillo.com

    • Lolly Daskal (@LollyDaskal) says

      Dave,

      I am so happy you found Frank’s work. He will not disappoint. Visit his blog–monthly, daily, weekly to see Frank’s profound wisdom.

      Nice to meet you Dave!

      Lolly

  3. Frank Sonnenberg says

    Hi Dave

    Thanks so much for dropping by. It’s nice to meet you.

    It’s GREAT that our leadership philosophy is similar. I’ll be sure to follow your work closely as well. I look forward to learning from you.

    Have a great day!

    Frank

  4. Lolly Daskal (@LollyDaskal) says

    What a great blog post.

    After every sentence I kept saying AMEN!

    There are so many truths written in this post it needs to be read by every leader all over the world within every organization, every company and every business

    GREAT WORK Frank, YOU DID IT AGAIN. Another home run!

    • Frank Sonnenberg says

      Lolly

      Thanks so much for your encouragement and support. I appreciate it more than you’ll ever know.

      Have an awesome day!

      Best,

      Frank

  5. Jay Remer says

    Frank,
    Your thoughts resonate clearly with The Six Pillars of Civility, a path I have been developing over the past few years and is now coming together to become a book, I hope. Thanks for sharing your thoughtful clarity.
    My best,
    Jay

    • Frank Sonnenberg says

      Hi Jay

      I’m glad that the post resonated with you. Congratulations on the forthcoming book. That’s awesome. Best of luck with it.

      Frank

  6. Ray Wyman says

    I did some work for a quality management consultant – makes many of the same points as you by including a shared vision for quality (work, community, life) to lift everyone together. Thanks for the great work.

    • frank Sonnenberg says

      Thanks so much Ray. Best of luck with the effort. You’re on the right track.

      Have an awesome day!

      Best,

      Frank

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