Friday, December 21, 2012

Crisis in Leadership - modified slightly from Bill Deresiewicz's USMA presentation

We have a crisis of leadership in America because our overwhelming power and wealth, earned under earlier generations of leaders, made us complacent, and for too long we have been training leaders who only know how to keep the routine going.  (The XO can keep the routine going; Skipper - we need you to think and act in ways that move the command, mission and Sailors forward!)  

We are training leaders:
-Who can answer questions, but don’t know how to ask them. 
-Who can fulfill goals, but don’t know how to set them.
- Who think about how to get things done, but not whether they’re worth doing in the first place. (Check with Simon Sinek and CDR Sean Heritage on "The WHY of what we are doing.")

What we have now are the greatest technocrats the world has ever seen, people who have been trained to be incredibly good at one specific thing, but who have no interest in anything beyond their area of expertise. What we don’t have enough of are real leaders - those with ZERO interest in just keeping the routine going.

What we really need, in other words, are more thinkers.  

We need more:
- People who can think for themselves. 
- People who can formulate a new direction: for the country, for a corporation or a college, for the Navy—a new way of doing things, a new way of looking at things. 
- People, in other words, with vision.

1 comment:

Sean Heritage said...

Wow! Me and Simon in the same sentence...thank-you! I've been asking WHY quite a bit recently (new job) and the answers have been to your point.

The routine is boring, the routine invites being busy to trump demonstrating progress, and it's adherence to the routine that seems to get many promoted. Too many of us are content with "putting in time" and "not breaking anything". Though I must say, it is increasingly exciting of late to have come across some impressive (and junior) "Thought" and "Do" LEADERS. The challenge is to funnel them toward the right mentors and away from the Diminishers, away from those who find comfort in the routine.