I’ve been attending St. Kate’s Summer Leadership Series in St. Paul. The most fascinating lecture so far was called “Leadership in Flux”.
According to Elizabeth Gaito of Korns Ferry International, the following progression outlines how the old style of top/down leadership style has been evolving to a more enlightened style over the past decades:
• Mechanistic approach: managing resources, top/down
• Organic approach: leader as the head and key energy attractor of the ecosystem
• Transformational leadership
• Servant leadership
• Emotional intelligence
• Connections and values: authentic leadership
• Generative leadership: well being and potential: love as the essence of the radical leader
Key components of the “radical leader” include the ability to be agile, to seek novelty and complexity, to be comfortable with ambiguity and change, to be able to identify connections and patterns, and to prefer working in creative environments with quick decision-making and imagination.
Apparently, companies with the greatest rates of agile and socially flexible executives produce 25% greater profit margins.
Several weeks ago I presented my “Leadership Using Active Listening Skills” to Brenny Transportation in St. Joseph, MN. While I can’t comment on their profit margins, I was really struck by the atmosphere of happy productivity that hit me as I walked through the door.
Joyce Brenny, who heads the trucking firm with her husband, seemed to embody many of the elements that this lecture identified as important in being a community-oriented leader, especially in her caring for others and leading by example.
Every Wednesday at lunchtime, her company comes together to hear a speaker, to celebrate events in her employees’ lives, or to have the tough discussions. Her personal community work includes raising funds for needy truckers. And she’s clearly a success in what many people might consider a traditionally male business.
It made me wonder how many “radical leaders” there are in the world and how many are women. 46% of the labor force is comprised of women, yet women head only 15 of the Fortune 500 companies.
Do you work for someone who embodies the idea of radical leadership? If so, please let me know. I’d love to profile them in this newsletter.
And may you pursue your own radical leadership with passion, purpose, power and peace!