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Leadership Change Required

There is a renaissance on the topic of business leadership and what it means to be a leader in today’s world. Is it because of a leadership void across our culture? Maybe we’re experiencing a revolution requiring leadership to be more than a standard-bearer of the traditional business values and policies. I think both.

What prodded me to give this thought was the Uber data breach story, the apparent cover up and subsequent criminal complaint against their CISO. ( Now, having been on the other side of these type of stories ( prosecution side) I know there is sometimes a grey area that is all too often painted worse depending on the motivation of the person holding the paint brush. Time will tell.) However, there was a post on LI about this story and how every company needed a strong IR program, policies and procedures. That is certainly true, but I commented it was lack of leadership and character which were the issues, not lack of policy or procedure. See my comment

You see, UBER (like most companies) broadcast the traditional business mantra of creating a Purpose, Vision and Mission. Here they are:

Purpose:      Evolve the way the world moves

Vision:        Acquire 40% market share for paid rides in key US metropolitan markets

Mission:     By seamlessly connecting riders through our apps, we make cities more accessible, opening up more possibilities and more business for drivers

But there’s something missing. We are in the midst of an evolution of how people view the role of work in their life, how we work and the holistic value of that work. Gone are the days of 9-5, shareholder value supremacy and structured top down edicts of defining your everyday work output. This evolution requires a new leadership thinking to create a culture of:  doing what’s right/doing things right and putting the workforce at the pinnacle of everything a company creates and outputs.

To support this culture leadership today should develop a framework of:

Diversity – diversity of people, backgrounds, education, experiences and knowledge. This will deliver unimagined benefits and creative thinking.

Empathy – Embracing the “perspective” of the workforce through understanding their needs, wants and desires. LISTEN to their input and create an environment where they want to be. That empathy will be directly transferred to the customer.

Empowerment – Encourage risk taking, allow for failures without punishment, provide them authority to act, help them become smarter and create an environment for employee success. Do that and watch the magic happen.

Business success today more than ever depends on creating disciples for your products and brand.

It’s the people in your organization that will make that happen. And it is the leadership culture which the people will turn to for support. Instead of companies marketing their Purpose, Vision and Mission maybe they should celebrate their Diversity, Empathy and Empowerment and how that framework supports the people ( employees of all types ) and turns customers into disciples.

What are your thoughts?