change leadership

The corporate world is experiencing a massive shift. A new generation is entering the workforce, many are retiring, and the formula for leadership is being re-invented. Dictatorships are giving way to collective organizational vision creation. Our titles, age, or departmental role do not define us. Focus is shifting from individual acceleration to purpose-driven teamwork.


There was a time when people put on suits and boarded planes to meet others across the globe. Formalized board meetings are now giving way to the ability to discuss strategy with people around the globe (in a pair of jeans). Client relationships are less about capability fit and more about the unique things we can do to progress a collective mission. People do not want to be sold a product; they can develop product knowledge through a simple internet search. We all want to be part of something bigger than ourselves. Teamwork is not a transaction and collective strategy starts from the top.

Ask…don’t instruct…

Some organizational leaders will be surprised when the day comes that they can no longer tell people what to do. But believe me, that day is coming. Employees no longer respond to rule by fear and intimidation. You can tell people they are lucky to have a job, but those who are truly talented always have options. Forcing people to follow a process without an extended vision only breeds mediocrity.

Leaders should consider what they are asking of their employees: If you cannot perform a task you should not ask others to.

Leaders should lead by example: If you try to commoditize your core values your employees will see through you.

Leaders should ask for input and allow collective idea sharing to guide the organizational strategy.

We are all leaders!

What motivates us: Money? Hardly! If the only consideration for employment is a pay check your workforce will be actively disengaged. As soon as a better offer comes along they will leave.

As we enter 2014, we want to share our ideas and have them adopted. We want to participate in charitable events and to share the fruits of our labor with the less fortunate. We want a work life that incorporates our personal preferences with our career goals. We want to leave the office on a Friday afternoon in exchange for some lap top time on Sunday morning.

Indeed, a shift is coming. Is your organization prepared?

Leadership Call to Action:

  • Does every team member have a chance to express his/her input on the organizational direction?
  • Are the goals set by leaders flexible to individual interpretation?
  • Are leaders held to same standards as the employees they manage?

Thanks for reading!

Dave Kovacovich

Bio: Dave Kovacovich is a keynote presenter on the Northern California Human Resource Management’s strategic speaking circuit. Dave is a blogger for the Society of Human Resource Management and assists organizations in cultural design and engagement strategy.
Resources: We Know Next, Don’t Forget to Remember, BI Worldwide Blog
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