Every once in awhile, I read an article that seems incomplete,
such as this article on 5
Leadership Fads to Ignore, by Steve Toback. Overall, I can wholeheartedly agree
with many of the author’s observations. However, Toback missed a critical
teaching moment IMHO.
The problem I see with the “leadership fads” named in the
piece is the focus on the results. Toback says you cannot just copy and paste
Steve Jobs’ management/leadership style; emotional intelligence is hard to
To me, everything the author outlined as wrong with the fads
are the results of those fads. He hints to having to understand the practices
that generated the results, but gave few, if any, practices gleamed from those
results. His answer is “Be yourself. Create your own culture.
Lead.” Then again, it’s not easy distilling the processes needed to be
successful into a nice short concise phrase – like Improvise, Adapt, and
Trying to understand the conditions, elements, underlying
practices that generate specific results and improved performance is
benchmarking. It’s knowing the current state and having a plan to move to the desired
To improve our performance, focus on those practices we’ve
identified that helped others to do what we would like to accomplish. What were
the conditions surrounding their success? Can we replicate those conditions if
Steve Jobs was an amazing communicator. While we will never
be like or anything close to Steve Jobs, we can work to improve our
Soft skills, rather than emotional intelligence, can be
measured. Companies are already working to do just that in their performance
reviews. You can measure leadership, communication, courage, trust, teamwork,
relationship creation, etc. and each forms part of emotional intelligence.
He’s right about employee engagement. Here’s a five-step
process to use.
Find your vision and understand who you are. Understand your
strengths and your weaknesses. It’s about finding yourself, so you can be
And folks, what has worked in the past still works today.
Napoleon Hill “Think
and Grow Rich” and Thomas Troward’s “The
Creative Process in the Individual” are writings that still have
applicability in today’s world.
As the New Year approaches, start thinking about you plan
for next year. For example, are you ready to benchmark? What are your New
Year’s Resolutions on leadership and beyond fads?
Image: Quiet on the set! by Theiggsta via Flickr CC