The Leadership Future IS now: 2015

Contribution Organizational leadership Respect


Key Point: A note to people in formal leadership positions: Get current, get great or please get out! I’m writing this blog just before the clock strikes midnight on Dec. 31. It is clear to me that it is time to be more aggressive in respectfully assessing and removing leaders that are unwilling or unable to lead in ways that inspires and compels people to do their best work! Here is a set of leadership principles to consider:

1. Do you encourage your team to work and get results anytime, anywhere? Even if you have a face-to-face business where customers show up at specific times, you need to consider a flexible and mobile model. Expecting people to show up at certain times without a reason and/or to sit for eight hours in cubicle because that’s what defines a “work day” is no longer useful. Working where and when you need to in order to get the desired results is what counts!

My next step? I am going to press for zero sick time and removing seniority based vacations. I like everyone having five weeks of personal time each year regardless of role or tenure. And, if you’re sick longer then a week, let us know so we can help in any way. I also advocate a three month paid energizer sabbatical (additional seven weeks) for every position, every 10 years.

2. Do you inspire, expect and teach your team individually and collectively to be continuous learners and executers versus expecting them to be an outdated, so called “knowledge worker?” What your team knows today is less important than their ability to continuously learn and apply new insights to improve results for their customers, processes and teammates.

My next step? I like the idea of everyone using whatever digital media they like to openly publish weekly or bi-weekly stories on what they’ve learned and how they’ve applied that learning. The stories would be personally and digitally archived and shared for all to experience and learn from. People start to see themselves as legacy story makers.

3. Do you expect and help all of your team members to be leaders regardless of position? Of course formal leadership involves the responsibility to navigate people, capital and technology and this requires management. However, everyone on your team must consider themselves as a leader and impact player. Order takers and “just cogs in the wheel” are no longer reasonable or acceptable.

My next step? Everyone in the company must with regularity (maybe twice a month) story and demonstrate how they have “wowed” a customer or team member and/or taught or coached a customer or team member something of value. No exceptions.

4. Do you provide ways for people to define and determine their own career paths including speed to competency and proficiency? Old style vertical, exclusively top-down controlled and permission based is outmoded, too slow and restrictive.

 My next step? Future succession/career planning will involve visual storyboard career paths that each team member digitally carries with them. The storyboard is populated with key self-learning’s, results achieved, content shared, thought leadership, key failures, and future role possibilities.

5. Do you promote collaboration, total authentic transparency, risk free idea sharing, open learning based self evaluation, everyday innovation, fast failure , and a growth mind set?

My next step? I’d like to find a way to kill company-wide email, have everyone use digital social collaboration tools like “jam” at every level and promote an open all to see “Net Leadership Impact” score, where leaders are publicly rated. For example, the “Glassdoor” of leadership.

Character Moves:

  1. Asses where you and your team are relative to the above? Be bold and creative in designing the kind of situation that net promotes the above principles. Why not? Be hungry! Be a catalyst! Be more!
  2. If you aren’t capable and interested, please reconsider your suitability for leadership in 2015, (and I haven’t even covered leadership “table stakes,” like having a clear purpose, setting clear outcomes, giving recognition, etc).

2015 Leaders in The Triangle,


One Millennial View: I support all these steps. I like producing results and making a positive contribution in the workplace. I dislike sitting at a desk, swiveling in an office chair just because my freedom depends on what appears on a clock. I’ll tell you what! If you need me, I’d rather be the obnoxious person talking to you from the treadmill at the gym, or send an email from the laundry room than just rot in the office “because.” Leaders should know I’m always available from anywhere. 

– Garrett

Edited and published by Garrett Rubis