Redefining Leadership & Management 2.0: What must it include?

Photo Credit: Ulrik De Wachter

Over a very long weekend that I am “suppose to be resting”, I have spent my time contemplating the coin phrase of “2.0” that is being utilized especially in the tech world.  Can it really apply to management and leadership after all the crisis and disasters we have seen globally?  As I sat around to hear the official word on CEO Tony Hayward resigning from BP, I initially think back to all the Greek philosophy and research Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle performed during their time in looking at politics, people, and community as organisms instead of machines. You have to say, they did have some type of impact during Alexander the Great’s rule!  After all, have we not all learned from past generations all that we need to know about leadership, management, survival, and thriving?

However, some near 2,000 years later, we have expanded leadership and management studies to include such topics of positive psychology, utilizing your strengths, etc. for our leaders to evaluate in the mix.  I only bring those up as I am a fan of these topics and finished reading many materials on Marcus Buckingham and Tom Rath on strengths and Switch by the Heath brothers.  As I finished the books, I thought, are they really new ideas that we still have not discovered on leadership and management?  I draw some sense of discovery of these topics back to the Greek and Roman philosophical times to the basic concept people are living organisms vs a machine.  Either way, these profound concepts are truly important matters to the success and longevity of employee satisfaction and work motivation that many businesses are just now discovering.  But why nearly 2,000 years later?

I, at times think we will never understand the basic concept that people are not machines.  When a leader or manager so chooses the mindset of divide and conquer or command and control civilization; people become machines.  When you want community, family, a sense of belonging and togetherness, people become living and breathing organisms.  Let’s use some of Aristotle’s logic here, which one of these do you think will produce the best, solid, and positive growth?  Which view point do we think Management and Leadership 2.0 will incorporate?  I hope that it is people are living and breathing organisms and a corporation’s largest asset!!

According to the news media, Mr. Hayward will always be remembered by two things: 1) hoping and wishing that getting his life back that the disaster will go away, 2) not really paying to much attention to the disaster by taking his life back and resuming to normal duties.  I think we all have been guilty of wishing thinking as in the past 5 years I have been hoping to win the lottery ever since the State of Tennessee incorporated the program, still no luck!  (And I do play very responsibly!)  But I, and every other responsible player that doesn’t win are continuing on with our lives and reality.  In reality, what good is wishful thinking and ignoring disasters going to accomplish other than personally soothing your own emotions?

Let’s fast forward from my initial thought process on “2.0” theorems.  Can all these new and latest discovery topics in leadership and management be new from what was already philosophized from 2,000 years ago?  If these thoughts of human vs. machine of some near 2,000 years ago existed, then why are we just now beginning to take this serious again in the 21st century? Have we moved as such a fast pace of industrialization and globalization that we have forgotten what has brought us the success that we do have, people?

I truly believe that we need a Management 2.0 revolution to occur in both western and eastern hemispheres for our leaders!  Obviously, from the BP example, CEO’s and managers will now be required to be in tune with global natural disasters – especially if it involves their organization.  To me, that is just a part of doing business globally.  And, after a major disaster, learn to manage change that life will never resume to normal – that is just a fact of life, normal does not exist!  My personal philosophy, a person strengths that are strongly utilize will equate to very engaged person in the work force.  I believe businesses are looking at engagement on the surface and afraid to take things a little deeper.  I would like to know what your thoughts are on what Leadership and Management 2.0 should now include?

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