My Current Philosophy About the Future of Business

by Mar 5, 20248 comments

For over one hundred years, corporate leaders have been working from the same managerial playbook: Relationships with employees are motivated by a desire to provide leadership development, training, and incentives, supported by human resource policies and programs that are designed to maximize employee output. Corporate leaders frequently view employees as functions or titles—a means of production—and not as spiritual beings living a human experience. We say, “Let’s have a meeting with the marketing department.”  We do not say, “Let’s have a meeting with Scott, Susan, Nancy and Bill.” We have dehumanized and sanitized business.

Leaders focus on drilling into employees, ways to improve culture, leadership, customer service, quality, safety, DEI, quotas, performance goals, and strategy. Oh, and forcing people to return to the office full-time even though employees are quitting and joining labor unions in protest against these ultimatums.

Leaders forget that employees are human beings who just happen to be in a different place, which we call work. They ache, bleed, love, dream, struggle and hurt just like everybody—but few leaders are interested in these aspects which are what make people human and are the most important part of their lives.

So, the great change of our time is for “leadership” to be replaced with (or redefined as) inspiration, and functional, transactional task conversations to be replaced with empathy, compassion, authenticity and genuine personal interest.  If employees are inspired, they will not need training or leadership development, because people who are inspired by someone who deeply cares about them more than their production targets, will walk over hot coals for such a leader. But what we have now is a condition where 80% of employees would quit if they had a free choice—a complete failure of our $170 billion in annual leadership development in North America, and the human resource policies and leadership theories that have reinforced this “industrial era” approach.

It is time to change our thinking of leadership from “exploiting worker bees” to inspiring human spirits and helping them to achieve their personal dreams.

Are you ready to change?  I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.