(Reading time 3 minutes. B4B needs a ‘eco-system’ leader than an ‘ego-centered Alpha Male leader type)
How many times you have been to a meeting headed by a leader portraying Alpha male leadership style?
Hardheaded, task-oriented and extremely opinionated. They are known to get very upset when things do not go their way, and living up to their excessively high standards can feel like a mission impossible. They are prone to outbursts when things don’t go their way.
Bold, aggressive, decisive, critical, one track, domineering and loud. They inject fear all around. They suck energy out of the space.”
The corporate ladders, of both big and small companies, are strewn with such characters aplenty. These folks have managed to play the game well for the past four decades. In fact, they have played it so well that they have risen to the top.
Shocking but true.
The reason it has worked so well until now is that the corporates have been ‘ego-systems‘ so far. Hierarchical, typical ladder, where the alphas gather their pack and rule the territory. Organisations were territorial and boundaries were well defined.
Not anymore. As we step into the social era, ego-systems are being quickly replaced by eco-systems. Connections matter more than strategy in a silo.
Until few years ago, our capitalist economy was fundamentally ego-centered. It was (and still is) structured to satisfy wants as an individual and to privatise or even atomise decision-making.
My need over yours.
For example, CEOs of banks took care of themselves while they fired the minions. Alpha male leaders mowed the entire organisation to get their agenda to the front. It even went as far as destroying a company’s brand just to prove a point. Ex-CEO of Volkswagen, Martin Winterkorn is a classic example.
It is even more shocking to hear leaders such as John Stumpf (CEO of Wells fargo) have behaved in a similar fashion. ‘My way or highway, Charlie‘.
You must have observed that leaders like Martin Winterkorn and John Stumpf are still very much around us. If your company is going through a rough patch in the recent times, due to leadership, just look around. Here is a clue: An alpha male leader might be lurking around the corner.
With the rise of eco-system leaders we have seen big shifts in organisational dynamics and strategy. These leaders think different and lead different.
Here are some key questions ‘eco-system’ leaders ask:
Should we work toward results of few people at the top or we should work towards a collective good?
What is keeping us locked down in the traditional (and old) ways of thinking?
How can we re-invent ourselves by breaking away from old thinking?
How can we develop an eco-system thinking where inclusiveness and power of many creates enormous value?
How can I improve lives of all the people around me. Not just mine.
While being broad in their thinking, they are also quiet leaders. Here are some of their traits:
They are better listeners
They embrace solitude
They are wizards of preparation and are intuitive
They challenge themselves in a different way
They dig deep into problems
They can be cool when others lose their cool.
The ‘eco-system’ leaders have an open mind that allows them to see the world with fresh eyes. They have an open heart that allows them to empathise, to see any situation through someone’s eyes. They are open to change and are capable of letting go the old and letting in the new.
They foster groups that can enter a space of thinking together, of collective creativity and flow. They are able to co-sense, co-create, co-lead and co-architect the future.
While they foster collaboration and openness, they hold their identity and earn immense power from people.
Here is a short clip of a silent leader – Satya Nadella.
Satya is very inclusive. He brings people in and gets them excited to work on stuff. He is able to inspire people and not just push them. He can inspire them to do great work and get them motivated and excited. Whether he was running a technology company or a non-profit, he would have the same demeanour.
Here is another silent leader, Jim Goodnight, CEO of SAS Institute. He has been the same since 1976!
And Charlie Kim from NextJump.
These leaders demonstrate qualities that are needed to lead 21st century companies. A Business FOR Business company.
Solid, silent, grounded, astute, clever, empathetic, respected by all – and gets the job done.
These leaders stand up for our collective consciousness. They make us feel safe. They clearly signal the intent to take care of a larger eco-system in which economic activity takes place. Not just for themselves and a few close partners.
When they take charge – we can see eco-systems explode with value creation. Inclusive growth take place. Benevolence overpowers greed. The Alpha gives way to the subtle. People stand up to back each other. Businesses stand up to back other businesses.
The word FOR shines so bright and subsumes everything negative along the way.
Then, it’s Business 4 Business as usual – isn’t it?
Follow through my other articles on B4B idea
1) Are you a B2B or B4B Company? Find out. [5 Minutes read. Plenty of examples and inquiry].
2) Why B4B Selling is the way to go? [3 minute read. Challenges B2B seller’s thinking]
3) B4B Companies are H4H companies too [3 minutes read]
4) B4B companies don’t F##& up their culture [3 minutes read]
About Agility Nexus
Agility Nexus (www.agilitynexus.com) is a Sales and Business Consulting and Coaching company serving business leaders in Technology Industry to accelerate revenue generation. We consult, coach, train and solve problems at the intersection of marketing and sales. We blend various strategies including Emotional Intelligence to help sellers better connect, engage with customers and offer great customer experience.
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