Read an Excerpt
Self-Leadership And Change
This Is A Book About Self-Leadership To Help You Improve Your career and achieve your personal goals. What worked yesterday won't work today.
- Yesterday natural resources defined power. Today knowledge is power.
- Yesterday hierarchy was the model. Today synergy is the mandate.
- Yesterday leaders commanded and controlled. Today leaders empower and coach.
- Yesterday leaders were warriors. Today leaders are facilitators.
- Yesterday leaders demanded respect. Today leaders encourage self-respect.
- Yesterday shareholders came first. Today customers come first.
- Yesterday managers directed. Today managers delegate.
- Yesterday supervisors flourished. Today supervisors vanish.
- Yesterday employees took orders. Today teams make decisions.
- Yesterday seniority signified status. Today creativity drives process.
- Yesterday production determined availability. Today quality determines demand.
- Yesterday value was extra. Today value is everything.
- Yesterday everyone was a competitor. Today everyone is a customer.
- Yesterday profits were earned through expediency. Today profits are earned with integrity.
More changes are crammed into every day of our lives than our great-grandparents experienced in decades and this process is just beginning. Consider for a moment that a musical birthday card has more computing power than existed on the planet before 1950, the year I graduated from high school.
In his bookPowershift, Alvin Toffler predicted a whole new power structure at every level of our future society. With knowledge now the key raw material for creating all economic wealth, the new power struggles will reach deep into our minds and our personal lives. That's why we believe the only empire that will survive in the 21st century will be the empire you build within your own mind.
Corporate "Culture Shock"
The culture of the American corporation is changing dramatically. Companies that cling to the old ways and attitudes are doomed to extinction.
Old Corporate Culture
- Maximum short-term return on invested capital for shareholders
- Replaceable employees, expedient methods
- Environmental waste, aging factories, assembly-line production
- Central line authority, manage one-on-one
New Corporate Culture
- Meet ever-increasing customer demands
- Rapidly changing world markets
- Highest quality products and services
- Educated, dedicated, skilled, performance-compensated teams who transmit their core excellence and value in their contribution
- Maximum long-term return on invested capital for shareholders
The source of power has shifted from capital resources to human resources, from natural resources to knowledge resources, from position status to relationship process, from shareowner clout to customer clout. The new global leaders will be people who can transmit knowledge and power to each member of an organization. They will be those who can accept the challenge and responsibility of using this new empowerment to build empires in their minds, offering vast inner and material rewards.
The New Employee EmergesAs employees, which most of us are, we have but two choices today: to be a team leader of a winning team or face being cut. Employers too have two choices: empower the few who will be your new team leaders, or they will exercise their free-agent rights and join another team that does have the vision, culture, synergy, and leadership to win. A team, in short, that has embraced the new culture.
The New Employee Paradigm
- Autonomy and empowerment minimal supervision, maximum training
- Meaningful work-environmentally safe with a mission to help society
- Career path opportunity to grow and move up the ladder
- Incentives compensation based on performance standards
- Flexible schedule consideration of family and cultural pursuits
- Team leader able to be a standout while remaining a team player
The Paradoxical Proverbs
Change of all kinds economic, social, cultural, technological, political is happening at accelerating rates. In some areas of human activity, it's not just accelerating but exploding. None of this shows any sign of slowing in our lifetime. Throughout this book, we'll be riding the wave of change, offering what we believe are the critical strategies you need to become a self-leader. Many of these strategies will be in the form of what we call paradoxical proverbs. They're proverbs in the sense of being short definitions of what you must do to take command of change. They're paradoxical in that they appear to contradict much of what we've long assumed to be true.
Our first paradoxical proverb is:
You must welcome change as the rule but not as your ruler.
During the past twenty years, I've traveled an average of four days a week, studying change. I've roamed from Fortune 500 boardrooms to the locker rooms of Olympic athletes. I've gone from NASA control rooms to high school lunchrooms. During the past few years, I've been crisscrossing the country searching for examples of self-leadership in the knowledge era. Some of the most interesting input has come from the more than 150 seminars I have conducted together with my colleagues, Tom Peters and Stephen Covey. The program, called Lessons in Leadership, is sponsored by major business schools and colleges of continuing education in nearly every state in the union.
Each three-hour seminar is attended by a thousand or so executives, small business owners, entrepreneurs, and middle managers-who invariably ask the same questions: How can we deal with change? How can we survive and succeed when the only rule is change? What new strategies and tactics do we need to become victors instead of victims?