This Week's Herman Trend Alert

Leadership in Normal 2.0

  The Herman Trend Alert

February 2, 2005

Turtle Leadership

A turtle makes no progress until he sticks his neck out. However, if a turtle withdraws into his shell, nothing changes and there is no movement. Under stress or fear of attack---real or imagined, the turtle retreats to the comfort and assumed safety of its protective shell.

Many of todayís managers are under stress and fear some type of an attack.

Enemies include the external environment, modern thought leaders who expect them to lead in new and different ways, and change---any kind of change. These leaders, or would-be leaders, fearing the future or the present, retreat very deliberately into the past. Their reluctance to move forward hampers their thinking about the future, restricting their organizationís forward movement.

Their employees, customers, and suppliers become increasingly frustrated and leave---further limiting the organizationís capacity. The only people who are happy with these short-sighted leaders are their competitors.

Executives who are computer-phobic today get in the way of progress in the world we live in. More and more work is performed by computers, or by humans aided by computers. Accuracy, efficiency, effectiveness, and cost are all improved, along with the comfort and job satisfaction of computer-comfortable employees dedicated to getting their jobs done. When their performance is hindered by executives who donít understand the power of technology, their motivation plummets.

A substantial portion of todayís leaders are behind the technology curve. They lack deep understanding and appreciation of how technology is---and can be--- used in their work and the work of the people they lead. Their ignorance of the technology of today and tomorrow inhibits the potential of their organizations.

They do not lead their people to the excitement and productivity that comes from the use of emerging technology. Their people do not feel inspired to rise to new levels of performance. The capacity to attract and hold technologically-oriented workers, especially young people, limits their staffing strength.

Those executives who learn more about leadership---and practice what they learn---will have a distinct competitive advantage over those who do not. Itís time to become more assertive, more visible, more influential.

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