Part one; the current situation as it exist now
True leadership development requires very specific skills and structure, it is “truly” a matter of specifics, not “mere semantics”, the likes we have practiced and experienced at business school thus far.
Command and control have been written about for ages, and at the risk of writing yet another stereo type piece. I assure you it’s not. Management is complex and subtle, it’s challenging and diverse, and it’s also planned and specific.
However, it’s all to do with the people, and how we get them to navigate, assimilate, understand and act on these elements, that make the difference, it’s all about leadership style, and management.
This article deals with the challenges we face in leadership, and leadership shortages, training, development, and style. The challenge of addressing the shortage of great leadership in society is a huge problem. The chasm between academic qualification and doing the real job, have become huge. Lots if not most of what is learned previously is now wasted material, as there is no connection any-more between theory and practice, and between management and leadership either it seems.
By having only focused on the traditional route of developing future leaders for far too long, we have missed the cardinal truth about leadership development and its requirements for this day and age.
We have failed, they come out of the box (university) – (maybe this is why people say “think outside the box” – because they realise that the box (university) is running pretty empty on current reality and truth – wink -) with their expiry dates passed already; now it’s time to shift that emphasis and explore radical and revolutionary new insight that could change the way we manage, and train managers forever.
By only shifting the business leadership style with a paradigm to that of “commanders”, we could change the entire paradigm, and the outcome, of what future leaders should look like, some believe that we have migrated away from command, because it became un-popular, not dysfunctional.
Now there is a clear move back again, but what will we find, or will we raise the phoenix, and give it a new design, one that fits. This would imply changing the emphasis of command and control. Starting with the training, today it is a job for people who have been there – teaching leadership is no longer an academic license, people in the know, that have mastered both leadership and management, as well as command and control need to take the lead here, and not the university prof, or slick consultant, no these types with their “white coats and thick glasses” need to stand aside now, and make way for the man in “overalls” to teach leadership styles.
They can still teach us the likes of business dynamics and acumen – business wisdom. However, I believe that leaders need to be forged and shaped in the heat of battle, and then only “tempered” with business wisdom, and polished with the skills I will discuss here.
The question of leadership models and a future focused leadership career path is on everyone’s lips, as we have a leadership in decline crisis now the world over, and it’s not improving. Still there is just talk and no active turnaround strategy yet?
Some believe we are suffering this effect directly as a result of us having moved away from hard – command and control models, to soft and fluffy, “ cheer-leading” models of management.
We see it daily – all our leaders are just not high calibre people. And no, we cannot measure them against anything we have had so far either, if we keep doing things in the same fashion, we will keep getting the same results. In this instance; out dated leaders, with wrecked leadership skills and models will keep appearing if we don’t change the way we see, and bring about leaders, it needs to be a holistic approach, from the cradle to the grave. Otherwise we will keep having a leadership crisis. Allow me to explain…