There is business and, then, there is all that stuff about leadership and teambuilding. This seems to be the worldview of many top mangers and leaders. We have the value system and all that stuff, mind you, very important, indeed, and then we have the Strategic Plan. We have the hard days and the soft days. In the soft ones, HR performs. A performance that, although inevitable, is not necessarily too entertaining. That is why Peter can miss day 2.
We still think that leading and leadership is a layer on top of the other real stuff, real business layers. It’s still a Manichean world of soft and hard, human stuff and business, HR and the real objectives for the year.
This form of Manichean leadership is still very alive. That is why when I see the real embedment of one on the other, a sort of Unitarian leadership; when leadership is part of the conversation about numbers, when numbers are part of the conversation about leadership, when operations and leadership overlap, it’s a joy. I am privileged to have some clients who live like this.
When I am asked to speak to large corporate audiences, which I do several times a year, over a two day ‘business programme’, I make the point of suggesting my keynote on leadership, or change, or both upfront in day one, so that the music of leadership and change can frame the rest of the gathering. I don’t always win. It’s quite common to see a split agenda where the hard stuff and the soft stuff do not contaminate each other.
The key indicator of good leadership is seeing that it is not an ad hoc, an extra, a relax-and-talk-HR-stuff.
It’s a long way to go, still.