Does it seem like you are one of the very few who can lead in your company? If you are the CEO, does it seem as if you are the only one who can lead?

If so, it is time to take on a radical transformation that will empower the development of leaders throughout your company. And it begins by considering that with your current perspective, you are in deep trouble.

“You find out when you get to the top, you are at the bottom,” sings Bob Dylan in “Idiot Wind.”

Many leaders who are successful getting to the “top” have a mindset of “doing it on their own, their own way” and ultimately find themselves isolated and disconnected from those they lead.

We are at a turning point in organizations now.

Sustainable, thriving companies find themselves poised for growth when there is transformational leadership connected with every level in the company.

Company cultures that will continue to succeed through rapidly changing and challenging circumstances are those that have encouraged and supported their employees and colleagues. Stepping up and providing leadership, regardless of position, then becomes the norm.

With the awareness that getting ahead through being “the only one who can lead” is outdated and doomed, comes a transformation that positively impacts your entire organization.

Here are five incisive questions that can be useful, to go beyond an “I’m the only one who…” mindset, to one that inspires a culture filled with leaders at every level of the company.

    1. How threatened do I feel by others taking over leadership roles I have fulfilled? (Do I subtly undermine others leading? Do I jump in and bypass them or micro-manage?)
    2. Am I steadfastly encouraging others to lead, and giving them what they need to win, even if they are not successful the first few times out of the chute?
    3. What incentives am I providing for others to lead?
    4. What am I doing to authentically appreciate and reinforce others who are succeeding in their leadership?
    5. Am I open to, soliciting, and listening to ideas from all parts of the company?

Breakthrough Leadership and high-performing organizations

Any sustaining high performance organization today is structured with various leadership bodies, each with their own charters, and accountabilities.

One example at the far end of the innovative empowerment spectrum is Morning Star—the world’s largest tomato processing company which operates with 400 employees and 0 managers.

One might ask, “but how does it work?”

In part 2 of this blog we will highlight this company’s audacious approach to organizing around peer-to-peer commitment without managers. This might stimulate some creative thinking and approach to empowering leaders.

What actions can you take this week to strengthen and empower the leadership around you?

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