I recently read a McKinsey article that quoted Tom Peters on leadership in the 21st Century. It really resonated with me.
Let me share it with you.
Tom was being interviewed by McKinsey’s and in answer to the question “Our research into organisational performance and health finds strong correlations between “soft” stuff and shareholder returns, which probably does not surprise you. What’s the best way to think about the softer side of management?”
Tom Peters: If you’re a leader, your whole reason for living is to help human beings develop – to really develop people and make work a place that’s energetic and exciting and a growth opportunity, whether you’re running a House Keeping Department at Google or Google. I mean, this is not rocket science.
It’s not even a shadow of rocket science. You’re in the people development business. If you take a leadership role you do people. Period. It’s what you do. It’s what you are paid to do.
Do you feel leaders are starting to get that message rather than giving greater importance to the chart- and- boxes approach?
Tom Peters: Some of them. Maybe 5%
Why is it so difficult to make that sale – to get the culture point across?
Tom Peters: In his new book, Ric Karlgaard says companies end up in a vicious – rather than virtuous – circle, in which the people that get promoted to the top and the people that advise them come from “the dark side,” meaning they’re less engaged with the people side, the culture side, the values side of things. There’s a bit of truth to that.