I’ve just finished reading Ron Wiens’ excellent book, Building Organizations: that Leap Tall Buildings in a Single Bound, 2012.
If I understood it correctly, the role of a leader is to build an organization that (eventually) won’t need him or her to function effectively.
You can do this, according to Ron, by building, EI, emotional intelligence, RI, relationship intelligence and CI, corporate (or organization) intelligence.
EI means that people within your organization (and I would broaden that to include your entire stakeholder group–customers, suppliers and marketing partners, board of directors/advisers, shareholders, officers, media partners and sponsors) believe in themselves and the leader helps/encourages those beliefs
RI means that every stakeholder trusts and believes in their colleagues/other stakeholders within their organization’s ecosystem, and they share information widely and freely
CI means that each stakeholder believes in the company’s (or organization’s) vision, goals and culture, and they will do everything they can within their creative power to further the team and organization’s aims plus they will embrace changes needed to realize these objectives.
If a leader can create the right environment/culture and the right set of objectives for an organization, then they will have a company that can leap tall buildings.
Ron also notes that leaders today need to not only have the four qualities traditionally associated with top managers–belief in self, authoritative, able to see tomorrow and works hard for himself or herself–but four other seeming contradictory character traits, namely: humility, able to establish intimacy, build for today and working for the whole.
The challenge I’ve asked Ron to address next is: Can he apply his thinking to whole towns or cities to animate them–giving them more opportunity to compete in a fast-changing worldwide competition based, as it is today, on the competitive advantages (or not) of each city-state.
Bruce M Firestone, B Eng (civil), M Eng-Sci, PhD
Real Estate Investment and Business coach
ROYAL LePAGE Performance Realty broker
Ottawa Senators founder
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