Tuesday August 11, 2020 0 comments
By Bill Van Eron
Compelling Future Business Coach
Headwaters Marketing & Innovation LLC
Most of us relish the unbridled creativity that we have early in life. Imagination, values, and inspiration focus less on obstacles than on joyously shared experiences and outcomes.
Today, those perceived obstacles greatly limit the pursuit of dreams more of us may share. The important word is "share" as while there may be many leaders with decent reputations, decades of greed have greatly lowered trust in any leadership. I and likely many of you have earned great praise for caring to rise up and make a difference while also catalyzing others to be part of it all. I can say, in most cases, our high impact teams got low impact raises while "nice" leaders maybe took more credit than deserved, and certainly a far larger percentage of the revenues growth we played a larger role to achieve. That is not right!
Decades of bottom-line focus & thinking now speak to the lag time more managers now have to step up and close to adapt as true leaders. Do so by better enabling the values, experiences & outcomes employees & stakeholders have long been ready for and deserved.
There's a far greater chance and shared value in shooting for the moon when more feel inclusive to the experience. People-powered fuel. As we always valued earned leadership, sincere efforts to solidify that path launches true leaders who now share enabling others to matter. To me, that is the new green energy as my work for several large tech companies showed the value of doers, catalyzers, values champions, such as trust, inclusion, culture, diversity, and innovation. If you start down this path as a half-hearted commitment, you will no longer soar, rather suffer a sore reputation. Learn to refuel yourself by listening, seeking objectivity, welcoming ideas, especially by people trained & enabled to realize higher value.
In this age of AI-enabled research, it is amazing how much more of what really matters is still overlooked. Look at how long businesses have defined the journey as one their customers take as if their product or services dominated customer's attention. The real journey that needs to happen now is earning greater significance. All businesses and all organizations have a variety of direct and indirect stakeholders.
Those stakeholders have full transparency regarding how leadership keeps its promises to employees and customers. Beyond what you make; what you stand for is now increasingly more important.
- Do you have an entrepreneurial culture, that welcomes status quo challenges, more open dialog, humility, trust, new thinking, and a hunger to learn, apply, and earn recognition?
- Does a focus on customers create time-pressured stress versus connecting, helping, and realizing the basis to inspire customer insight and inspired employee insights and actions?
- Do you pay attention to how most customers feel stalked when they search a topic out of curiosity? Or how many sales or marketing efforts are in decline because there is little earned trust or relevance as vital to their effectiveness. Same with HR as strategic latitude, greater outcome ownership, cross-functional purpose integration and an eye to the future could greatly increase your overall reputation. The 90 minutes I spent engaged with Steve Jobs long ago, still resonates with the value of human observation, caring, and values-based business.
What defines that moon worth shooting for today? A short-list of factors to fuel that flight:
- The greater good. Ethics and a purpose are on a dramatic rebound. Those without them will soon be in free-fall, not to be confused with flying.
- Most Bottom-Line thinking over the last several decades pretty much nixed the attention to values that my work, support from others, and outcomes proved as a far better route.
- Most left-brain dominated businesses give proper credit to engineers, scientists, and medical contributors, as expected and respected. They focus on knowledge, while stakeholders expect and seek outstanding relevance. As one small example, Covid-19 has exposed the high risk of obesity. Many obese people know of the risks and why eating less and exercising more is healthy. But without support and accountability designed in, most fail. True success is a system that shapes shared relevance for both resistors and advocates.
The fact is that this is new to most. That translates as low insight of what to purchase, who really is qualified, and if this solves true needs. Or validate management concerns that transformation is disruptive to current priorities, slow and long, very expensive = a high risk. That speaks to why 75% of transformations fail. We long proved it all out without any cause to these concerns, one would think true solution providers or leaders would welcome that help. Perhaps a "In our lifetime, please" movement is due.