Did we ever, ever have more facts around us? Certainly not. We talk about Big Data. It is of course Colossal Data, monstrous, whatever we want to call it.
In this overwhelming availability of facts, there is a type of manager, leader and executive that grasps the facts, but misses the meaning. It’s a type of leadership dyslexia of some sort. From all the attributes of leadership, the ones people write down, the ones that I myself have criticised as ‘the impossible list’, if I were to choose one single word, just one, it would be meaning. Meaning for himself or herself first, and then for all, for the followers, for the organization.
In day to day management, we spend a lot of time accumulating facts. Inevitable. Desirable, if you think of the alterative. But we have come to fooling ourselves that the presence of rich facts equals meaning. In an old Daily Thought, I said that there was a battle for the 3S: Synthesis, Sense and Simplicity. Sense, making sense, providing meaning, this is the gem. The rest is commentary.
This leadership dyslexia with abundance of facts and missing of the meaning, may even go unnoticed, unseen. The Digital Tsunami will not be tolerant; will not wait for meaning until a second wave. It does not stop. It assumes you filter noise and signal. And this is a hell of an assumption.
At the very least, we need to redirect our Leadership Programmes to provide the abilities, perhaps the toolkits, for an anti-dyslexic operation. The size of the dysfunction is enormous. Off-the-shelf, ‘this is how you lead in circumstances X’, will not do the trick.
So, what do we do?
Leandro’s new book Camino – Leadership Notes on the Road is available to buy from all major online retailers.
To get a flavour – see downloadable extract: Camino – Extract Chapter 2 part 1