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Leading in an Increasingly-Complex World



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I have a program I’ve presented numerous times called “Leading with Purpose.” In that presentation, I talk about how many of us use terms like Management and Leadership interchangeably; however, they are entirely two different things.

I’m sure its no shock to you the world is becoming more complex. And the complexity of the world isn’t diminishing anytime soon. Traditional methods of managing and leading others just aren’t working. New leadership styles must be developed to address the growing needs around us.

Leaders today must become better, more purposeful leaders!

Unfortunately, many in the workplace today share a stereotypical view of what great leadership is. Confined by this, many have difficulty seeing themselves as leaders. As a result, the benefits they could bring to an organization are often overlooked.

The old view of a single leader making all the decisions is fading. In organizations today, when things are working well, it’s because the team is functioning as a coherent whole toward the fulfillment of one organizational purpose. When organizations are in crisis-mode, it’s often due to a lack of purpose.

Once the purpose of the organization has been discovered, organizations can use that as a foundation for serving the client, and bringing out the best in its employees. Whether it’s a school, manufacturing facility, retail store, or law office, recognizing and appreciating the strengths of others, and finding ways to capitalize on them to fulfill the organization’s purpose is crucial.

Unfortunately, many organizations focus on weaknesses and motivate employees through reward and punishment. And it simply doesn’t work!

Purposeful leadership cannot be confined to special occasions. And we can’t engage and motivate others the same way we do animals (reward and punishment). As I mentioned earlier, the world is more complicated than it has ever been. These challenges present endless opportunities to enhance the organizational environment by nurturing the skill-sets of both yourself and those around you.

A fundamental principle in purposeful leadership is the idea of partnering. Find ways to place experienced workers with less skilled workers; the one that understands the concepts with the one who doesn’t. Partnering and mentoring helps develop the talent, skills, and leadership abilities of both. The less experienced have the opportunity to learn from the more experienced, and the knowledge that is taught is more thoroughly understood by those doing the teaching.

Rather than developing peers within the organization, partnering and mentoring helps create allies, advocates, and associates within the purpose-driven organization.

The complexity of the world is not going to diminish. Traditional methods of leading and managing others are no longer working. New leadership styles must be nurtured and developed; in particular, we need organizations today that are focused on fulfilling their unique purpose, while helping employees capitalize on their strengths, not their weaknesses.

“Without a purpose, our only motivation is reward and punishment.” – Jim Whitt


What do you find so challenging about leading in today’s dynamic business environment? How can we at Leadership Addict deliver more value to you and help? Please comment below. I look forward to reading your leadership insights and interacting with you.

Nathan R Mitchell is America’s Leading Empowerment Coach. In 2010, in an effort to fulfill his purpose of empowering leaders to reach their potential, he founded the leadership development company, Clutch Consulting. Nathan is also a Certified Speaker, Trainer, and Coach with The John Maxwell Team. Originally from Springfield Missouri, he earned his B.S. Degree in Management and an MBA from Missouri State University. He lives near Tulsa Oklahoma with his wife and children.


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