Everyone is a Leader. Each of us is empowered to be a leader and do our part to make a difference and inspire change. No limitations, no secrets, and no red tape.
Modern business took its organizational look and feel from the military. When you’re fighting a battle you have to be able to count on the person to your right and your left; and to trust that orders once delivered are being followed without any doubt. Military leadership gives an order and it is given to middle management and then distributed out and down to the front lines. This works great in the military, and probably worked pretty well in business for many decades. Then the world changed.
Today the world moves faster than it used too. Strategic business plans used to be 5 or even 10 years in nature. Life did not seem to change as fast back then. The factors are many, of course. Global competition has meant that companies have so many more competitors for customers. This is of course has been brought on by the incredible advances in technology with all things computers and Internet. I read once that the changes in computing are akin to a luxury car getting 500 miles to the gallon and costing $500 dollars. No wonder things have changed! We have so much more access to the world, to information, and of course to talent for your company and customers for your products and services.
This is not a brand new thing of course. I figured this out years ago with a bunch of smart people at The Placers. We talked about these changes and the impact that it was having on us as employees. Dealing with and mastering change became a really important thing if we were going to survive and prosper. Mastering new skills became everything, knowledge became the new power for all of us. Those that had more seemed to get ahead.
This is about more than just employees and their mindset though. I wanted to change our organizational structure to support this changing world. I do not think my company has the time for me to make all of the decisions and then to disseminate them out to each of them. This is slow, cumbersome and just flat out wrong. By the time you hear my thoughts, the world has gone in a different direction!
So we are a flat business without layers and titles. We know that if you focus on knowledge, and your growth than you will have really great opportunities to have insights on how we should be running this place. After all, you interact with more customers (Defined by 3 of course!) than I ever could.
Everyone is a Leader relates to the fact that I want all of my employees to be leaders. They’re on the front lines, and when you’re there, if you listen and look up you will hear things that can make you better immediately.
But here is the interesting part. All leaders want to have information on how to run their company better; that is our charge. If you want to be a leader then you have a really, important obligation. You need leadership training and experiences in the areas of running meetings, problem solving, project planning, handling conflicts, and really the list goes on and on depending on the moment. That is what leadership is all about! Mastery requires 10,000 hours of something. Think about it like this: 3 hours a day for 10 years.
Everyone is a Leader is so much easier to embrace than it is to actually be effective as one. Our greatest gift in our company is that we get the opportunity to pursue this mastery in all of our roles.
So embrace it, and know that it is one the hardest to take from understanding to being really good at. That is why leadership is so hard!