Today’s leadership challenges are not like your grandparents. The industrial revolution and the generations that followed were focused on building efficiencies. Command and control kinda organizations kept things under control. The early management scholarship focused on how to become an organization man and build an efficient engine. Today, we’re terrorized by tiny cells which are far from efficient. I mean, come on man, how efficient is it to use humans as bombs?
Ask my cousin Ann’s husband, Jim Gant, how he waged war in the Konar Valley and you won’t hear him talking conventional tactics or command and control. You’ll hear him talk about building an adaptable fighting unit and building the kinda deep trust that had none of his team acting like a private. The same holds true for you and whatever team you’re assembling in your world of work. The enemy isn’t like the ones your grandparents defeated. Stop focusing on the same kinda data analytics that drove them.
Build a team of adapters. You cannot win this kinda war the old fashioned way. Your team can, if you build ’em into a team of adapters. However, leader, you’re gonna have to give up some command and control. You gotta make decisions with even less data and deploy a team, a product, or some new kinda service before you know it will work the way you want. You gotta lead the pace of change instead of going all Japanese and simply copying a more efficient engine. You gotta lead. And, you’ve grown up liking command, control, and, worst of all, false certainty. Yikes.
You, leader, gotta adapt and build a team of adapters. Today, young Jigglemuffin, had to adapt to a pace beyond his comfort zone. He’s 29 and easily could have gone all millennial and mailed it in. Instead, he adapted. He dug in and adapted to the increased pace. Adapting to anything outside your comfort zone is always painful – acutely so. Choose this kinda adapting. Adapt and accustom yourself to challenge, friend. This kinda adapting is how you train muscle to increase it’s capacity to carry. Pretty soon what has you crying in the saddle will have you dancing on the pedal. You either adapt to the challenge life is certain to bring or you or avoid anything beyond your present comfort. The strong adapt to challenge, kinda like young Jiggles. Choose to adapt like Jiggles. Your grandparents would be so proud. Good…