I have been thinking a lot lately about how you need to lead clever people to be commercially successful nowadays.
No longer is it about manpower, it’s now all about talent leverage.
Your competitive advantage in the modern world is the quality of your people. It’s definitely about their ability to innovate, the quality of their intellectual property, their engagement levels and skills, and their ability to get increasingly more done with diminishing physical resources.
Several years ago I founded Thought Leaders as a commercial co-operative that serves some of the smartest people on the planet. To date we are well established in Australia and New Zealand and are expanding in 2011 into three other key global markets. The Thought Leaders Movement is a fabulous testing ground for 21stcentury leadership.
Some things I feel you need to do to lead clever people:
Create an organisation that operates more like a circle and less like a triangle.
Make sure you as the leader inspire and engage
Create a clear intent that people can buy into or sell out of
Create a sense of higher purpose (that you will personally stay committed to)
Make sure that success of the whole is contingent on the success of the individuals
Find ways to stay in touch and communicate your key messages
Don’t be afraid to change your mind
Lose some people along the way
Make it about projects over strategy
Leading in the 21st century is a lot looser and is about managing with confidence and clarity when the prevailing conversations are fear and uncertainty. It comes down (I think) to:
Increasing Personal Leadership at all levels.
Enterprising your existing Thought Leadership.
Skilling your people in and creating opportunities for Speakership.