A controversial title to this article perhaps, but let’s think about this in more detail. Yes, the traditional ‘command and control’ style of leadership has been hugely successful up to now. But in my 25 years of working and advising organisations from across all sectors, the one thing that has caused many a downfall is complacency.
This is a very easy trap to fall into. What’s that phrase? ‘If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.’ All well and good. But would we ever have had Concorde, landed on the moon, established a space industry, have phones the size of match boxes (well, almost!) if we had gone through life with that attitude? Of course not. It is only by continually exploring how we do things, questioning old models and adopting innovative thinking that we progress.
It isn’t enough that this out of the box, blue sky thinking is kept within the restraints of technology. For the long term health of business in the 21st century, we have to adapt this modus operandi to people too.
What I have witnessed over the years is business burying its head in the sand and operating with the mantra ‘we’ve always done it this way’. They are taking a far greater risk with their long-term health and sustainability. The dogged command and control style of leadership will be successful – whilst times are good. But what can happen is that these organisations have not invested the time in building up a bank of good will, so when times are tough they run the risk of floundering. The people they employ are far less likely to stick around and support them and it can very quickly become a ‘dog-eat-dog’ culture. If, however, that same organisation had adopted the coaching and empowering style of leadership, running a fully inclusive, supportive and communicative culture, then when times are tough everyone will pull together and see each other through.
So, looking to the future, where do you want to work, what kind of company do you want to run? The one that is staid, stuck and based on fear, or one that is innovative, inclusive and based on collaborative and sustainable achievement and recognition?
So this brings me to male and female energy. What I’m not saying here is that this is a gender split. Both men and women can utilise their male and female energy. What has been dominant in the workplace over the most recent history is male energy. This is not a bad thing, but the key to collaborative and inclusive working is a celebration of both. To have either energy in dominance is not going to create a sustainable business. But the male energy dominance has had its day. In order to move forward with passion, conviction and success, businesses now need to address their structures and styles and ensure that they utilise and celebrate both energies. Only once these are in balance can an organisation truly call themselves the ‘go to’ place to work; the company that attracts, and retains, the best people; the company that not only has the competitive edge now but maintains it going forward. Diversity is crucial for success, and once we can take ownership of that diversity within ourselves and ensure our personal energies are in balance, we can radiate that out in the way we do business.
The era of blame and judgement needs to come to a close with the ending of this period in our evolution; now is the time to take that next step along our evolutionary journey. Celebrate the balance of your own inner power and create the businesses, and therefore the world, that nurtures and nourishes all souls and will take you and your business forward stronger, fitter and healthier.