Brad Fregger, futurist, businessman, author, professor, international speaker, publisher, father, grandfather, and great grandfather, shares his guiding principles for creating and leading organizational teams.
"Find the right people, show them how good they are, and then get out of the way."
Fregger believes that very few people, including the top business people and academics understand organizational leadership, the leadership that the middle manager must exhibit if they are going to be able to get done, what needs to get done.
Top business people tend to be, because of the process of selection that goes on within every organization, managers, not leaders. Warren Bennis agrees, bemoaning the lack of leadership that exists within America's corporations, while at the same time creating the environment where this was bound to happen.
Academics tend to have little understanding of organizational leadership because, again in the main, they have not "walked the walk." The only way to understand true leadership is to have, "learned it on the job." Studying successful leaders, doing research on leadership, doesn't work. There's also the problem that most academics, especially the ones from the top schools, only study successful top executives, individuals who are defined as leaders because of the position they hold. But ... as Bennis recognizes, very few of them are true leaders.
Additionally, the very successful organizational leader, the Effective Leader, is relative rare. You can not be an Effective Leader until you have attained Mastery, until you know exactly what you are doing and why it is working. Most successful organizational leaders aren't quite sure why they are able to get things done better and easier than their counterparts. The result, they tend to see themselves as being lucky, often giving full credit to the team.
In his foreword to The Living Company, Peter Senge touches on the importance of "practical experience," essentially, saying that the best information comes from those who have been there,
"It has been my experience that extraordinary practitioners like Arie can make unique contributions to management thinking Ö . Unlike academics who write about what they have thought, practitioners think about what they have lived through. Because the source of their thinking is experience rather than concepts, they show how sometimes the most profound ideas are the simplest."
And, Brad's response,
"This is the truth that I have to bring: Effective Leadership is profoundly simple at the concept level. There will be nothing in this book that you will not quickly understand; many of these simple concepts, however, are surprisingly difficult to implement."
From reading his book, it seems that the basic reason that these ideas can be difficult to implement is because they often conflict with the traditional manager's ideas as to the best way to get things done.
Brad's warning, "Don't read this book unless you are ready to have your ideas regarding effective management and leadership turned upside down. I'm not interested in convincing you, I'm only interested in affirming you, and leading you to Mastery."
Brad's style of writing is entertaining
and conversational, "I'll never win a Pulitzer, but there's a real good
chance that you'll understand what I'm trying to say."
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