A recent article in Inc Magazine, "How to Thrive in 2009" featured Jim Collins, author of Good to Great. His analysis of where we are all headed as organizations is poignant. Here is an excerpt on the coming wave of unforseen challenges all organizations will face:
"Most people are in the comfort of base camp, and they can go on doing what they're doing even if there is a big storm. But the people who wake up high on that mountain in a howling storm are in grave danger, like the technology people after the bubble burst. It hit me that we're all heading up there, whether we like it or not. We're heading into a world characterized by big events, big forces, massive storms. We're going to be vulnerable little specks high on the mountain when the storm hits out of nowhere. And if we're not prepared, we're going to die up there. Or we're going to be in real serious trouble.
Here are his views on a new paradigm of leadership:
"Business owners and chief executives have had a tremendous amount of concentrated power. They don't really have to lead. If I put a gun to your head, I can get you to do a lot of things. It means I have power. It doesn't mean I've led. In business, we largely have power, not leadership. In a social-sector organization, power is diffuse. So, getting things done requires the ability to truly lead. If you want to create a movement, you can't order it or demand it or will it into existence by exerting concentrated power. It just won't work." Yes leadership.
Welcome to the revolution where true vision, understanding and leadership are a requirement; not a luxury.