The Next Gen Leader will introduce you to:
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About the Author
Robert C. McMillan is one of the world's foremost thought leaders and experts on leadership transformational systems. Personally trained by leadership guru John C. Maxwell, Robert's solutions are rooted in two decades of leadership experience in corporate America, which includes a journey from rank-and-file to the C-suite as an executive for a health insurance company serving the President of the United States, Congress, White House staff, and millions of federal employees. His clients have included Motorola, BlueCross BlueShield and General Electric. Robert is the founder of the Next Gen Leader Institute and is a speaker, consultant, and coach to organizations and professionals around the world. Robert lives in the Washington, DC, area with his wife, Yolanda, and their two children, Journee and Jalen.
Read an Excerpt
You Are a Leader!
Believe it or not, if you are reading this book, you are a leader, regardless of position, pay, or power. You are a leader; there is no doubt about it! Here is what I know: Each of us falls within the 1G to 6G leadership networks (similar to cell phone and iPad networks). We all are born with leadership hardware and software, but we require constant maintenance and application upgrades in order to operate at our maximum leadership potential. With that visual in mind, and understanding that everybody is a leader, there are five critical questions that every professional, team member, individual contributor, supervisor, manager, director, and officer within an organization must ask:
What kind of leader am I?
How do I become a leader of High Significance?
How can I upgrade my leadership hardware and software?
Do I understand others' leadership expectations of me?
What is my true leadership potential?
The Next Gen Leader: Cutting Edge Strategies to Make You the Leader You Were Born to Be was designed to answer those complicated leadership questions and to provide a leadership system to help organizations, teams, and individuals maximize leadership potential. Centuries of research have shown that the concept of leadership has been one of the most misunderstood yet most critical capability gaps in business. However, once the true meaning of leadership is discovered and a universal system is adopted to grow and nurture leaders, the potential for individual, team, and organizational success is limitless.
The concept of leadership sounds simple yet is complex. The challenge is that each organization, team, supervisor, and employee has its own unique definition and description of the term "leadership," which makes it a complicated concept to define, measure, and evaluate. For more than two decades, I've been in the business of helping professionals, teams, and organizations become better leaders. That's my passion, my sweet tooth: helping others reach their maximum potential.
Through the years of consulting, training, coaching, and working in leadership and individual contributor capacities for Fortune 500 companies (General Electric, Motorola, BP, Blue Cross Blue Shield, and many others), I've observed and profiled the traits and characteristics of successful professionals and leaders in various roles — from project managers, individual contributors, analysts, team leads, supervisors, directors, executives, and C-level executives. I have also held leadership positions in challenging organizations and worked alongside difficult people who operated in negative cultures, resulting in self-created titles many people carried on their foreheads (along with their title Chief of CYA — Chief of Cover Your Ass). To help leaders and aspiring leaders looking to maximize their potential, this book also sets out to provide solutions to the negative aspects of leadership and its unfortunate challenges in dealing with difficult people, organizations, and teams.
Leadership Is Action, Not Position
The fact of the matter is, regardless of position, title, or appointment, we are all leaders. We are naturally born to lead. The successful professionals I observed used what I later refer to as the Six Secret Leadership Applications, which I will share with you in this book. I have applied these concepts and credit them with much of my success in reaching the C suite as the youngest executive within the world's largest healthcare conglomeration. Through the use of these applications, it is clear that it is not position, pay, or power that produces leadership results; it is action that results in leadership. Bottom line, as I always say, "Leadership is action, not position."
What Really Is Leadership Anyway?
The concept of leadership — an excessively used word to describe a desired action — is one of the most misunderstood yet most critical capabilities required in business. Each person, team, organization, and culture has its own unique definition and description of this term, which makes it a complicated concept to define, measure, and evaluate in comparison to the goals and objectives of teams, organizations, and individual contributors. Let's consider a few illustrative questions:
How do you rate leadership? Leadership success cannot be solely determined based on achieved business goals and objectives noted on an organizational scorecard describing desired results. For example, one may be able to achieve goals and objectives while demonstrating poor leadership. Many organizations make the error of judging leadership solely on achieving business goals and objectives, often creating casualties resulting from the behaviors used to meet those goals.
How does one know leadership when they see it? Can you take a picture of leadership with your iPhone? If I were to ask you to go find leadership and bring it back, what would you return with? Most people believe that you cannot see, hear, touch, taste, or smell leadership because it is not a person, place, or thing. I am of the opposite belief. I believe you can always find leadership; it is both an action and a thing that can be found in people. Leadership is a network of applications embedded in each of us, which I call the 6G Leadership System.
Can anyone be a leader? Many thought leaders who embrace the traditional view of leadership would suggest that everyone is not a leader and that leadership is merely a vertical climb concept. They envision a climb up an imaginary corporate ladder in which one steps from one level to the next, eventually elevating to greater responsibilities and oversight and never revisiting the previous "steps" or "roles" they've climbed to reach their desired level of success. If this view on leadership was truly proven, tried, and tested, leaders would never fall, would they? The truth of the matter is just the opposite; under this concept, many leaders have fallen quickly. Because this concept lacks footing and balance, it is unsustainable with the constant motion of leadership. Throughout history we have seen leaders fall on their own sword. Leadership is not a vertical climb; it is a horizontal pull in the format of a network constantly rotating like the earth — the 6G Leadership System.
The Best-Kept Secret About Leadership
The best-kept secret about leadership is that everyone is a leader! Every person was born with the innate talent and gift of leadership. In the 6G Leadership System, this is referred to as the Genetic Leader — those who have leadership potential but simply have not stepped into awareness of their leadership potential. They have it within them, but the application is just not turned on; it's on "hibernate." Leadership is complex because its networks are constantly revolving, and many people operate on different network frequencies. Some are operating on 1G, and others at 6G capacities. The question becomes, what leadership network are you operating on?
A leadership foundation built on the vertical climb model is unsustainable. Leadership of significance consists of a network of leader applications operating in parallel with our human minds, then carried out in the form of actions in pursuit of a desired result. Many leaders are in leadership positions but have no network app. It's like having a GPS system with no application — you have the hardware but no application to know where you're going. True leadership is a network of leader intelligence applications that run within our core — mind, body, and spirit — always in operation mode. Many people believe leadership is something you can turn on or off. You can never turn leadership off. It is always online. Most leaders operate from a leadership level or hierarchical concept of artificial success rather than navigating through a perpetual leadership growth network that propels success. The fact is, anyone can physically step up to the next level on a ladder — that is just as easy as walking. But the question is, once you step up, do you have the appropriate leadership application to perform and sustain your position?
Simply put, leadership is a system of leaders. In order to be successful, an organization — in today's competitive environment of accelerated change and overwhelming complexity — cannot afford to have an enterprise of followers. The traditional leadership concept, that in order to have leadership you must have someone willing to follow and someone willing to lead, is antiquated and outdated. In today's global economy, organizations, associations, and companies need everyone to be a leader. They need more leaders and fewer followers.
Organizations need thinkers, leaders who foster influential thought and action toward achievement of a desired vision, objective, and goal. Traditionally, followers don't think; they do as they are told. In today's competitive world of doing more with less and becoming more effective and efficient, followers will not be the competitive force that innovates, breaks ground, or discovers more effective ways of doing business. This will come from leaders. Again, every person is born with the innate talent and gift of leadership. There just happen to be six networks of leadership that people operate within.
What Is the 6G Leadership System?
6 Networks + 6 Apps = The 6G Leadership System
In order to effectively lead, leaders must operate in a leadership network infrastructure designed to identify, cultivate, and build leadership aptitudes within an existing network of leaders that allow behavioral replication and synchronization of the desired leadership state. For example, to be effective and meet market demands, cell phones have to be adaptable to operate on multiple cellphone carrier networks. Similarly, leaders must be able to operate on various leadership networks based on a specific scenario or situation. Through time, people have morphed into different types of leaders. With so many different leadership models, styles, and approaches — and the significant increase of external leadership recruiting — a clear leadership model is much needed in today's challenging times.
In leadership, there are varying styles, experiences, and behaviors. The 6G Leadership System has been narrowed down to six networks that provide insight on the features, benefits, and limitations of each network, consisting of network to 6G: 1G–Genetic Leader, 2G–Generic Leader, 3G–Go-To Leader, 4G–Growth Leader, 5G–Gateway Leader, and 6G–Genius Leader.
Professionals have different experiences, and many are in different places in their career journey. The 6G Leadership System provides a tracking system to identify exactly where you are, and it provides a pathway forward. As stated earlier, the philosophy is that everyone is a leader and the difference between leaders is simply where they fall within the leadership network.
There are leadership applications that each leadership network operates on. Success is dependent on optimizing the right applications of Awareness, Acceptance, Acknowledgement, Achievement, Acceleration, and Agility within the leadership network to foster influence and success.
Your responses to What Is My 6G Leadership Aptitude? will reveal your aptitude in the Genetic Leader, Generic Leader, Go-To Leader, Growth Leader, Gateway Leader, and Genius Leader categories and also help to assess how well you are optimizing those life and leadership apps (Awareness, Acceptance, Acknowledgement, Achievement, Acceleration, and Agility).
The next section provides a system overview of the 6G Leadership System and defines in broader terms the various leadership networks that will assist you in understanding the necessary keys to maximizing your leadership potential.CHAPTER 2
Overview of the 6G Leadership System
Six Applications to Maximize Leadership Potential
One of my goals in writing this book is to share with you what I have branded as the 6G Leadership System. These six leadership applications, if understood, practiced, and universally applied, will maximize your leadership potential beyond your imagination. These applications help us understand what truly makes us leaders and also provides solutions to help improve our ability to lead through the leadership apps that most often lay dormant in us all. Listed next is a summary of the six maximum potential leadership applications, accompanied with descriptions of why others allow us to lead:
Awareness App: We are leaders because our actions demonstrate awareness of our innate ability to lead others.
Acceptance App: We are leaders because we are accepted as leaders by others based on actions.
Acknowledgement App: We are leaders because others acknowledge our actions.
Achievement App: We are leaders because our actions are recognized as business achievements.
Acceleration App: We are leaders because our actions accelerate business performance and results.
Agility App: We are leaders because our actions create agility to grow the business or organization and its people, simultaneously.
Leadership Is Not Flat; Leadership Is Round
This breakthrough in bringing clarity to the true meaning of leadership explains why leadership is often misunderstood and its potential is rarely maximized.
For many centuries, we have been taught that leadership is a linear and vertical process, which is far from the truth. Like those who argued that the world was flat only to conclude it was round when they failed to fall off the edge, so it is with the misrepresentation of leadership. Simply put, leadership is round, not flat. Through observations and experiences, I discovered that leadership is not a linear or a vertical process. In fact, it is the complete opposite: leadership is a system of various networks and frequencies that each of us operate on within a circular motion.
Leadership Network Styles
In addition to the Six Leadership Applications described previously, there are Six Leadership Networks, 1G to 6G, that coincide with the applications. These Leadership Networks — which I also refer to as "Leadership Network Styles" when I speak to audiences and organizations — help us understand the various leadership networks, the type of leaders we are and the value of each:
1G–Genetic Leader Network: People value you because they see potential.
2G–Generic Leader Network: People value you because you accept leadership.
3G–Go-To Leader Network: People value you because they recognize your results.
4G–Growth Leader Network: People value you because of your consistent achievements in business performance and growth.
5G–Gateway Leader Network: People value you because you create opportunities and change for others.
6G–Genius Leader Network: People value you because they respect your leadership agility and ability to influence success.
The leadership networks described above will be discussed in much greater detail in later chapters to assist you and your organization in discovering and maximizing your leadership potential. Now, let's discuss briefly how applying the system concepts and features can provide a sense of extraordinary outcomes for you and your team.
System Concept and Features
The system concepts and features of The Next Gen Leader are applications, leadership networks, and an operating system. If understood, practiced, and universally applied, the system will maximize the leadership potential of individuals, teams, and organizations, resulting in measurable improvements in the areas of shared employee and organizational success; increased customer satisfaction; improved employee engagement and commitment; reduced High Performer/High Potential attrition; and opportunities for goal congruence.
All of these quantitative values have positively impacted the performance, productivity, and profits of organizations, teams, and professionals that have taken the bold challenge to soar to new heights of leadership potential.
Why This Is the Right System for You and Your Organization
Through the years, the successful professionals and organizations I have observed accessed many, if not all, of the applications and leadership networks that are introduced in this book. Contrarily, the applications were either nonexistent or inconsistently used by less-admired leaders, professionals, and organizations that I have studied. In short, what I have found using these leadership principles is that the stronger the usage of the Six Leadership Applications and Networks, the more success you will have in becoming an individual, team, and organization of High Potential Leaders, High Performance Leaders, High Influence Leaders, and High Significance Leaders, in that order.(Continues…)
Excerpted from "The Next Gen Leader"
Copyright © 2014 Robert C. McMillan.
Excerpted by permission of Red Wheel/Weiser, LLC.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Table of Contents
Introduction: A Genius in the Making 9
Part 1 The 6G Leadership System
You Are a Leader! 19
Overview of the 6G Leadership System 25
What's My Leadership Aptitude? 35
Part 2 You Were Born to Lead!
The Truth About Leadership 55
Let's Talk Potential 67
Leadership Is All About Connecting 81
Circle of Life Apps 89
Stepping Into Leadership Shoes 101
Part 3 The Six Generations of Leadership
1G-Genetic Leader and the Awareness App 111
2G-Generic Leader and the Acceptance App 133
3G-Go-To Leader and the Acknowledgement App 157
4G-Growth Leader and the Achievement App 183
5G-Gateway Leader and the Acceleration App 211
6G-Genius Leader and the Agility App 245
Take the Genius Leader Challenge 287
About the Author 297