Quoted from Brene Brown’s book Daring Greatly (p.15):

“My corporate talks almost always focus on inspired leadership or creativity and innovation. The most significant problems that everyone from C-level executives to the front-line folks talk to me about stem from disengagement, the lack of feedback, the fear of staying relevant amid rapid change, and the need for clarity of purpose. If we want to reignite innovation and passion, we have to rehumanize work. When shame becomes a management style, engagement dies. When failure is not an option we can forget about learning, creativity and innovation.”

There are a few things in this quote that resonate with me within the context of Visionary Leadership:

  • Everywhere you turn you hear reference to listening to Big Data. To rapid feedback of a countless number of measurables. How about a progressive system of feedback from your people, and not just from a bunch of numbers? I know the numbers are easier to collect, but that is no justification to make it the most listened-to feedback.
  • Clarity of purpose: are you as leader sharing the same purpose as the people you are leading? Is your team, down to every individual, working a singular direction that is clearly defined for everyone to follow?
  • How can you rehumanize work in a time of increasing automation? Is it possible to buck this trend? Is it possible to unleash the human side of people, their busy lives, and what they do in companies every day?

Go be a good leader of real people. Have the courage to build listening outposts so that you can hear what your people are really saying, thinking, and feeling.