I wasn’t paying attention when the vote was taken, but somewhere along the way leadership became the preeminent business buzz concept of the new millennium.
There are probably more blogs, tweets, books and seminars dealing with leadership than any other business related concept. Some authors have built huge empires by adding one or another derivation of the word lead to the titles of their books. Heck, I even got into the game with two of my own books on leadership.
There are leadership:

LinkedIn groups,
Facebook pages,
and associations.
The ability to take people to a physical or emotional place they have not been is so highly regarded these days you’d think the sole requisite skill for corporate success is a keen sense of leadership savvy.

“He may not know the difference between poop and shoe polish
but he really can lead people.”
Okay, that last one may be stretching it a bit but you get the picture. In the early part of the 21st century leadership has been “the bomb.”
All that is about to change
As we move into the second decade of the century the focus on leadership skills will be surpassed by an accountability for individual performance at all levels.
Organizations will continue to need leaders — this is not an argument for corporate anarchy or decentralization — but those charged with setting the pace will lose some of their luster and the spotlight will shine more brightly on the need for every individual on the team to be more keenly aware of their own strengths and their own personal contribution to the company’s success.
Instead of “lead, follow or get out of the way” the new mantra might be “play to your strengths and we all win.”
Leaders have steered us through some rough water. The past couple of years have been excruciatingly tough on organizations. Those with able leaders at the helm have no doubt done better than they would have without the guidance. But the tide is changing. The image of a strong leader standing against the wind and charismatically guiding her company through the storm will be — as the winds subside — replaced by an organization of individuals from bottom to top who know their strengths and manage their weaknesses to the greatest corporate good.
Are you prepared?

  1. At your next round of performance reviews, focus on each worker’s strengths instead of their weakness. (Only 25% of managers do this).
  2. As you develop plans for the next year, ask yourself “who on my team would be best at ______?”
  3. Acknowledge employees who do something amazing while playing to their strengths. It will encourage others to do the same.
  4. Critically examine your organization’s use of the word leader. Has it been overused? Is it trite? Does your focus need to shift from leadership training to strengths awareness?

Welcome to the second decade of the 21st Century. If you’d like some help maximizing the strengths of every person on your team, ping me with a quick email and we can chat about what that means for you.