During the talk at the Global Leadership Summit, I asked three seemingly random questions at the beginning of the talk…
1) ¿Qué tipo de fuego estás tratando de encender?
2) ¿Es la gestión lo mismo que el liderazgo?
3) ¿Cuál es la diferencia entre encender un fuego debajo de alguien y encender un fuego adentro alguien?
1) What type of fire are you trying to ignite?
2) Is management the same as leadership?
3) What is the difference between lighting “a fire under someone” verse lighting a fire “inside someone”.
This last question was spurred on by the quote often attributed to Kathy Austin, Management Consultant… “Managers light a fire under people; leaders light a fire in people.”
We then began to explore, historically speaking, how the view of organizational leadership has evolved since the industrial revolution from a position-based definition, then to a management-orientation, and more recently to an understanding that leadership is about motivating others to work together towards common goals, which ultimately contribute to “the common good”.
To spur-on our collective thinking, I proposed the following four reasons why a mere position-based leadership or management-orientation approach to directing employees (followers), which might have worked in the past, needs to be altered to meet the needs of today:
1) Things have changed since the industrial revolution.
2) People are much more educated.
3) The speed of change has accelerated.
4) Organizations that were successful in the past are disappearing overnight. (e.g.Blockbuster vs. Netflix)
Many heads nodded in the auditorium as we explored these points. Often is easy to agree that a new approach is needed to organizational situations, and as proposed in this talk, a new type of leadership is needed. However, knowing what the new approach should be, is much more complicated.