The Bankruptcy of Leaders in Corporate America

     If the pandemic mess of the last year has shown me anything, it is that our current “leadership” conversation guiding our country in many areas is bankrupt. Individuals who call themselves leaders are talking furiously with the impression they are actually leading others. In reality, they are having management conversations. While great management practices are important, this conversation has failed our country, organizations and society. Management is about efficiencies. Leadership is about effectiveness. Management is about what is known. Before 2020, we operated in the “known.” When COVID-19 spread across the globe, we entered into the unknown. All our management best practices, processes for team efficiencies, and workflow failed us. All our best management ideas stopped working in the world of the unknown.

     Leadership lives in the realm of the unknown.

     Leadership is an art that presses into that which is nebulous and makes sense of it as it goes along. Leadership learns as it grows on the path. Leadership corrects as it gains new information and experience. Leadership is not tied to a process. It is not bound by ROI. Leadership rises above these elements of the management conversation and seeks others with expertise and releases them into the space of innovation, creativity, and solutions to our challenges.

     This is not something we hear very often in our world of leaders. Instead, we hear blame. Victimizing. Division. Disunity. Hate. Accusation.

     We don’t hear inspiration. Elevation. Hope. Vision. Purpose.

     Yet, this is exactly what a world faced with uncertainty needs to hear. Our people need to hear a compelling vision of hope to move them onto a new path. They don’t need a message on “The Five Easy Steps to a New Path of Hope.” That’s a management conversation. They need a picture of hope. They need a direction. They need encouraged to begin walking the path even as it is unknown, unlit, and unfamiliar. Leaders just need to point the way as they, too, are walking the unknown path.

     Leadership lives in the realm of the unknown.

     Leadership thrives in the realm of the unknown.

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