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21st Century Leadership With George Dettwiller
Leadership in the 21st century is vastly different than it’s ever been. The concept of the corporation was first coined by Peter Drucker in 1946, at which time the job title of “managers” whose sole role was to increase the productivity of others came into play. As managers became more and more prevalent, the need for true leadership also grew.
In the past few decades, the term management and leaders were used almost interchangeably. As the business world progresses into the 21st century however, the meaning of these two words has begun to diverge and divorce.
What is Leadership?
Leadership, according to George Dettwiller and other top business thinkers, can be likened to a ship. The leader is the person who decides where the ship is going and the best way to get there. The managers are the people who actually run the ship. The managers watch over all the other tasks, from manning the sail to steering the rudder to the crew’s schedule.
However, managers don’t decide to change course. That’s the captain’s domain.
How is Leadership Changing in the 21st Century?
Great leaders today have divorced themselves from much of the conventional business thinking in the 20th century. World class business analysts like Jim Collins, George Dettwiller and Michael Gerber have identified a handful of traits that are critically important to success today.
Values. In order for an organization to succeed, they must have a set of core values that employees feel loyal to and follow. Gone are the days when you could just stick a “vision statement” from the top on the wall and call those your values. Today, values need to truly be reflected in the hearts and minds of everyone in the organization, from the CEO all the way down to a new hire fresh out of high school.
Empowering. In the early days of the corporation, staff were encouraged to do only what they were trained to do. Unfortunately, this tends to suppress innovation and prevents brilliant thinkers from moving up the ranks. Instead, today’s leaders have divorced that philosophy for a much more open and empowering one. Great leaders empower employees of all levels to change the system, improving both the product and the business.
Kaizen. Kaizen is the philosophy of constant improvement, even if it’s only a 0.5% improvement at a time. This philosophy was first tested by Toyota. Prior to implementing Kaizen, Toyota was a third rate car manufacturer, far behind GM and American manufacturers. Today’s Toyota has far outstripped their old competitors because of this philosophy of constantly improving their product and processes, one step at a time. Leaders know that sometimes improvement doesn’t come in big ideas, but many small ones.
Stepping into the 21st century means divorcing old thinking and marrying the new. Guiding a business through today’s turbulent world requires understanding a whole new level of leadership.
George Detwiller is an innovative business leader and manager. His approach to management is highly sought after by business owners and managers alike.