From Life-crushing to Life-affirming Work

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My parody post on the Life-crushing Magic of Hierarchy, rightly prompted the reaction: “Yes, but what do you recommend we do about it?”. This entire blog is an extended essay on what to do to help make work more human. I believe the critical challenge for organisations as we move into the future of work is how to use learning, leadership and collaboration to create more life-affirming workplaces and work. For those who are looking for quick clarity, I thought I would distill a few basic responses to the challenge.

Call The Life-crushing Management & Discuss it

Frighteningly several people have taken the post at face value as a recommendation of management practices. This highlights our need to discuss the excesses and abuses of management practices more widely. Transparency & debate is a first step, because many of the practices will be stopped or adapted when challenged or discussed openly. Importantly, transparency alone is not enough.  We need people to act on change too.

Calling hierarchical leaders to explain their actions is not a step taken lightly. Like it or not, the call will challenge some leaders and not all challenges are welcome. Simple steps can be taken to make it easier to call bad practice and start a discussion:

  • Don’t do it alone: Build a coalition or at least check your perspectives with others before you call a bad practice. Ensure that there is a crowd of supporters for your view point.
  • Seek to understand: Begin by seeking to understand the management perspective. Don’t presume malevolence or incompetence. Most bad decisions come from a lack of shared context.
  • Based your questions in higher purpose, values or strategy: Appealing to and clarifying the higher order can give you more basis for a challenge.
  • Add external perspectives: Closed systems atrophy. Some times lack of diversity can be the problem. Add external ideas, data and perspectives to add weight to your call.
  • Offer help: If you call something, be prepared to work to create a better way. There’s a lot of critics. There are fewer collaborators.

Discuss People, Outcomes & Purpose

The practices “recommended” share a common goal of valuing management power over the effects of work. Creating a vibrant discussion of purpose, the importance of meeting people’s needs and the impacts of work beyond the organisation is critical to moving to more meaningful work. Starting with a strong sense of why work is to be done and the goals it is to achieve for the organisation, the individual and other stakeholders is a key part of a better more engaging work environment.

Importantly, this begins to foster and “outside-in” perspective that pushes hierarchical managers to look to new data and perspectives in their decision making.  Being clearer on goals and purpose is also a fundamental underpinning to allowing new forms of autonomy for employees to react and make change.

Grow Accountability, Autonomy and Change

As we add human accountability to the networks in our organisations, we enable people to begin to grow trust and influence. Think of the definition of wirearchy and focus on increasing ‘the dynamic two-way flow of power and authority, based on knowledge, trust, credibility and a focus on results”. Many simple issues in our organisations can be addressed by allowing people to share more information and begin to exercise autonomy to make decisions that need to be made beyond roles, mere compliance and process constraints. The exercise of that autonomy rises as accountability & trust rises. At the same time, we start to accelerate the pace of change in our organisations enabled by the distributed talents of our people. Increased accountability is one of the goals of traditional management, but common practices tend to disempower. We need instead to increase accountability and empowerment at the same time.

Build Capability

The appeal of traditional management practice is that managers need not be very effective at coordinating people and the employee’s roles are kept rote and simple. Working in more human ways will require organisations to build new capability to lead and to influence and also to make more complex decisions in every role in the organisation. We can’t manage and work in different ways if we have not helped people to develop the required capabilities. Enabling people throughout the organisation to gather information, to learn, to make change and to influence others becomes very important.

Continue the Collaboration & Change

There are no quick fixes, no gurus and no systems to buy to make a more life-affirming workplace. The steps above need to be led by management and by the entire team in the organisation over an extended period of change.  We don’t necessarily need to start by throwing out hierarchy or managers.  In most cases, they come back in another form anyway. What we need to do is to learn to work in new and much more effective ways that value human potential inside and outside the organisation.

Capabilities aren’t learned overnight and new ways of working take time to embed and be secure from the next round of management changes and new hires. The best way to carry this journey forward is to embed it in a collaborative change program that the entire team embraces.  Making life-affirming work part of the cultural fabric of the organisation must be the ultimate goal.  After all, there is no destination, just an endless journey of improvement and change.

Working out loud on Career Transition

I throw a spear into the darkness. That is intuition. Then I must send an army into the darkness to find the spear. That is intellect. – Ingmar Bergman

Working out loud on your intuitions is critical to success of career transition. So is bringing your network to bear as an army of hunters and collaborators to help make the new role a success.

A bunch of friends, collaborators, and inspirational leaders were made redundant yesterday. At the end of a day of reaching out to offer help, I came across the quote above from Ingmar Bergman and it reminded me of each of my past career transitions. Enforced change is daunting and can be a time of doubts and confusion. We can be deeply unsure of what comes next.

When career change takes us by surprise we usually never quite know what we want next. We are deep in the realm of doubts and hopes. We need to trust our intuition as a signal of personal purpose. We need to throw some experimental spears. Working out loud is a great way to test the waters, refine your hopes and draw opportunities. Throw a few spears and see what happens.

However working out loud is just the beginning. The next challenge is to send out an army to help you find the next role, project or help you start the next business. There’s too much for one individual to do alone. Networks are the most powerful way to search for, find or even create the new role. Combinations of strong and weak ties will make things happen that you could never expect. Working out loud can make the network aware. You will need to work the network ongoing with all your intellect to turn ideas into opportunities to fulfil your purpose.

My friends are well placed for success in this game. They are highly talented and know how to work like a network. They have global networks. They have authority on the difficult challenges in change and adoption in the future of work. They are trusted experts and partners. They are ideally placed to leverage the wirearchy to their next success. The opportunity now is to work out loud and connect, share, solve and innovate with those who admire them.

For all of us who are pondering our next move, how are you leveraging working out loud and calling on the power of your networks? How are you helping others find their next horizon?

Your Purpose in a Network

“All the value that we create is delivered for others and negotiated with others. We cannot escape the networks in our work. We are not an island widget producing output in a process. We are humans tackling increasingly complicated problems in webs of relationships that stretch through our organizations and out to the network where our purposes have their effects.”

We can’t escape networks as individuals and as organisations. We are embedded in a wirearchy that is far more powerful than we are aware. When avoidance is no longer a strategy we must engage. What is the purpose of your work and leadership in the networks around you?

There is no Island

Let’s say you were a traditionalist manager and you saw social communication as a distraction from the perfect order of your process driven life and neatly structured hierarchical silos. You can ban any form of networking in your organisation. You can ensure that employees never get together physically across the boundaries of teams. You can turn your organisation into closed cells in the name of efficiency. You can replace employees with robots to make the more compliant.

Except:

  • You still have customers and they are organised into networks that reach around into your organisation
  • Your competitors are leveraging networks to reach new customers, to learn, to solve challenges and to create new innovations
  • Your suppliers are using networks that involve your employees and customers to understand how best to create value too
  • Your employees still have phones & internet connections, friends (some of whom are customers), connections in the real world that may want to influence your organisation or even their own thoughts on what your organisation should be doing from their external community activity.
  • Even your robots will be networked in an era of the internet of things

Even if you wanted to ignore the network and focus solely on the performance of a hierarchical process driven organisation, you no longer can. The network has subverted the hierarchy.  The networks have always been there disrupting your efforts at perfection. They are just more visible and more capable than ever. Your employees, competitors, suppliers, customers and community have always been networked into groups large and small by human interaction. Now those conversations are global, mobile, persistent, transparent and real time.

Purpose in a Network

Welcome to the wirearchy. It doesn’t replace the hierarchy. It works with it, shaping your actions and the actions of others in your organisation with its ‘dynamic two way flow of information, trust and authority’. 

The wirearchy challenges you to consider your purpose. Your purpose guides how your actions reach out into the networks around you and have an effect on others.  That effect on others is what determines the information you receive, the authority you are given and the trust you earn. Improving these things takes work. It cannot be delivered by management fiat or a great personal or corporate brand campaign in the era of networks.

In a wirearchy, we each have the opportunity to improve our information, authority and trust. We each have the opportunity to lead. Unlike traditional management this is an opportunity, not a requirement. Fail to use it when required and the network will route around you taking away your hard won gains. The network doesn’t require your participation; it simply values it.

The Purpose is in the Work

The purpose is in the work. You won’t find it in a job, a manager’s opinion or in a book. Choose the work that you like to do and go have an impact in your networks doing that. Your role in the wirearchy will be surfaced by action. You will also get a better sense of the value that you create for others, helping you to better appreciate your performance in the network. 

The simplest purposeful actions that each of us can take are those that create value for others in our networks:

  • Connect People: Help others find their path & communities in the network
  • Share our Work and our Passions: work out loud on the activities going on in your life to let others learn and help
  • Solve Challenges with and for others to share your expertise, experience and capabilities
  • Innovate and Experiment to create new value together

Start where you feel comfortable. Start where you feel you can make a difference. Your networks and your purpose will guide your leadership work from there.

Manage Your Performance (in A Network)

“Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great make you feel that you, too, can become great.” – Mark Twain

Organisations are moving away from traditional performance management. Expensive managers are being removed from organisations as they explore ways to be flatter and more responsive. More people are working freelance. 

Managing your own performance is more important than ever. However, managing your own performance involves real challenges both in terms of personal and network value.

A Story of Doubt

Late in 2015 I lost my way. 2015 was a good year measured on my set of measures and most objective measures. I was busy on work that mattered to me and my clients. The work was purposeful, rewarding and recognised so by clients and others. However as the year came to an end after a few needed weeks of rest, I found myself doubting my performance and my momentum into 2016. With distance from my work, I wasn’t sure how well I was actually going to do in the new year.

Quite late in December I found out I was being considered for a Microsoft Most Valuable Professional award to be announced on 1 January. Until this occurred, I wasn’t even aware the award existed. In a matter of days, winning an award had become an important external benchmark to how I saw my performance. This need was an emotional, not a rational process. I slept terribly on the night of the 1 of January (due to timezones the award was announced early 2 January in Australia) and awoke to find no email from Microsoft. I was disappointed and resigned to the outcome as confirmation of my doubts. Dejected, I began reading the comments of winners on social media and congratulating those I know who had won. An hour later discovered an email in my junk mail and I realised a great insight into my personal limits of performance management.

Performance is Personal

Performance management is a personal process that happens between our ears, not on paper. We have already made the personal investment of our time and our efforts when the evaluation begins. We pretend it is rational and objective but we know that we are human with doubts, ego & emotions to manage. The SCARF model from David Rock highlights many ways that performance management can go wrong, by violating our sense of status, certainty, autonomy, relatedness or fairness. Anyone who has been through a corporate performance management process knows that an external opaque process of evaluation of feedback can trigger all sorts of reactions. What looks simple on paper rarely works that way in real human conversations.

Moving from performance management once a year by others to continuous self-management makes the process no easier and far more personal. The movement from an external accountability to a personal responsibility improves autonomy and can reduce relationship stress but it still leaves challenges and removes many external benchmarks. It also creates hard new responsibilities to fairly assess ourselves relative to others. We still have the same doubts and challenges but in many cases we can now struggle to accurately and consistently measure the true value of our work.

Valuing Yourself Accurately

In the era of self-management, workers need the capability to accurately value their work and their performance. From pricing your work, to negotiating your responsibilities, to managing the performance and reward process are all founded on the ability to accurately value your work and be able to communicate this value to others. New ways of working give us new processes to manage performance but fundamentally these processes still rely on our ability to accurately assess our own value and to negotiate that with others. 

When I lost confidence in my own measures of success, I found myself outsourcing these to a partial external event of benchmarking. That made little sense as a process of evaluation. There was only some overlap between the award criteria and how I deliver value to my clients and what I value. The most valuable part of the process was it was a partial measure of reputation in one community (see below). The process was more akin to grasping for a lifeline than genuinely seeking to understand how much value I had created.

This demand for accuracy in valuation challenges us all to tackle the reality of our performance in new ways. Traditionally we both under and over estimate different elements of our performance. Many traditional self-assessment process take advantage of this using benchmarks to knock off our over assessments but leaving our undervaluations. Just like my experience, they work as partial measures of the value we create, over reliant on benchmarks and competitive assessment on narrow criteria. 

Managing our responsibility to be accurate demands we test our self-perceptions continuously, focus on creating greater value and shake those crises of self-confidence that hold us back. We need to genuinely learn from failures and not reposition or hide them. We need to overcome our triggers to hold a true growth mindset. We need to become our own performance leaders, helping ourselves to become as great as we can be.

We also need to start to value ourselves far more as players in a complex system rather than a widget in a mechanistic process. 

Your Value in a Network

The most underutilized resource still waiting for discovery may be our ability to cooperate much more deeply than the systems of work have so far envisioned. – Esko Kilpi

All the value that we create is delivered for others and negotiated with others. We cannot escape the networks in our work. We are not an island widget producing output in a process. We are humans tackling increasingly complicated problems in webs of relationships that stretch through our organisations and out to the networks where our purposes have their effects.

Creating this network value is the key challenge and as Esko Kilpi highlights in the article above this depends more on cooperation and collaboration than competitive mindsets. Most performance management is competitive, dividing a scarce pool as an incentive. Network performance management is abundant, encouraging collaboration and cooperation to create new innovative value for individuals and for the stakeholders who benefit from the organisations purpose. Network performance management starts to bring us back to elements very similar to those of the SCARF model directly:

  • How we gain status (in the form of authority, reputation & influence) in our networks
  • How we react to and embrace uncertainty as a source of value creation through learning and experimentation
  • How we manage our autonomy and translate our opportunities for personal agency into value creation and fulfil our purpose
  • The breadth and depth of our relationships through our ability to broker connection, coordinate activity and access necessary information and capabilities
  • The fairness of our network exchanges in terms of reciprocity and mutual value creation.

Leadership in networks is a critical capability for all of us in the future of work. As Harold Jarche has noted, this kind of leadership is less controllable than traditional management, which presents its own issues for the management of collaboration. Leadership matters because it is the critical element to creating and sustaining value creation in networks as Dion Hinchcliffe has eloquently explained.

Managing performance in networks requires us to focus on both the need for new accuracy in our personal assessments and leadership of collective aspects of the abundant opportunities for greater performance through collaboration & cooperation. Individually and collectively we will need new measures, new confidence and to learn as we go on better ways to work.

Sell Aggression. Buy Relationships

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I saw a list shared on twitter of 25 books for CEOs from 2015. The above image was attached to the tweet. I reacted immediately to the macho impression of the attached image of the covers. Then I looked more closely and realised many of the subtitles run contrary to the general image of the cover. These books look like the typical aggressive competitive advice for CEOs to outcompete, outperform and to go big. However, the actual advice within the aggressive red or yellow cover is far more nuanced. Human relationships matter.

Sell Aggression

This is an old game. Strong leadership sells. We sell aggression. Alpha males rule the chimp pack. Wear red and yellow. Stand in a power pose. Be the best. Be simple. Know the right answer. Do one thing better than anyone else on earth and rule the whole damn thing.

Except this is the cheap shot. Aggression primes our primate brain and gets our attention. Aggression makes us pick up the book. Aggression isn’t what makes change happen and isn’t what delivers results. Aggression is the empty wind of a loud shouting exploitative push economy. Aggression is the bait in a leadership bait and switch.

Buy Relationships

Any successful leader knows that relationships is where the real work gets done. Collaboration and cooperation drive progress, not force. Nothing gets done alone. You don’t want anything done by the coerced. You want commitment not compliance.

Humanity triumphs again and again against the forces of power. Force an outcome and passive resistance will undermine its effectiveness. Bureaucracy rules. For every blustery threat, the real deal gets done in a quiet conversation as power is traded for persuasion.

Win commitment and you will see people’s capabilities blossom. The messy beautiful work of leveraging the capabilities of people happens in rich, complex and unpredictable networks of oh so human relationships. That far less saleable work, but it is the work of value. Relationships are where leaders seal the deal when they switch away from the bait of aggression.

Portfolio for the Future of Work

As our economies become more connected, faster and more complicated, these human relationships will only increase in value. Relationships bring information, trust & authority, critical differentiators, cost-lowering capabilities and fundamental elements of effectiveness.

The portfolio strategy for leaders in the future of work is to be long relationships. Those relationships will make your work far richer and more human. Buy now.

Leadership is a gift given and received

You aren’t invited to lead because of what it will do for you. You aren’t invited to lead because of what you have done. You aren’t invited to lead because of your role.

People follow because of the value you create for & with others. Leaders help people build shared purpose, vision and understanding, create new capabilities and find paths to action. The action generated from leadership helps people to create new value together.

Anyone who works to help others create value can lead. Give the gift of your talents at this collaborative work and others will recognise your actions with the gift of leadership.

Get Uncomfortable

“There’s no comfortable way out of your comfort zone.”
– Paul John Moscatello

Traditional hierarchical management has its pressures, but it is a system built around the comfortable path for managers. In the golden goose school of management, life for managers is easier. They have the expertise, they make the decisions and they have the authority. Employees have narrow tasks to fill in tightly measured roles. Compliance is valued over the dangerous unreliability of commitment.

When we move to the future of work as managers we experience new discomfort. The network has a view and capabilities we can only influence. Autonomy and experimentation further break down the predictable nature of a manager’s role. Leadership is expected of everyone and managers play roles as change agents, coaches, facilitators and capability builders demanding far more individual level of support than the routine orientation of traditional management. Transparency changes the nature of decision making, expertise and the exercise of power. There’s more information and more people with a view.

The future of work is going to demand new skills of managers. Learning new skills is always uncomfortable. New skills only develop outside the comfort zone through practice.

If the last few years of business have taught us anything, it is that clinging to comfort in the face of change is not a viable strategy. All managers need to be exploring the uncomfortable future that is the future of work.

2016 – Tackling Reality

We may doubt that we’re up to being a warrior-in-training. But we can ask ourselves this question: “Do I prefer to grow up and relate to life directly, or do I choose to live and die in fear? 

– Pema Chodron

Welcome back old friend. I’m glad you’re here. Now, let’s get to work 

Carl Richards “Learning to Deal with Imposter Syndrome”

It may be cheaper and easier in the short run to ignore failures, schedule work so that there’s no time for reflection, require compliance with organizational norms, and turn to experts for quick solutions. But these short-term approaches will limit the organization’s ability to learn.

– Francaseca Gino and Bradley Staats “Why Organisations Don’t Learn

Let’s add one more detail to the picture
the much longer,
much less visible chains that allow us freely to pass by. 

Chains by Wislawa Szymborka trans. Clare Kavanagh and Stanislaw Baranczak

Leading into year end, I have been reflecting on what I learned in 2015 and what it means for 2016. All of the quotes above appeared in things that I read today. Reading these quotes clarified for me one of the key insights of 2015 that I had been considering (but perhaps was ducking) – life is far better when you are dealing directly with reality.

Tackling Reality Personally

Life as a solo consultant has its challenges. Over two years into that journey I have come to better understand, accept and deal with its ups and its downs. Work isn’t always consistent or predictable. The point at which you need to give up is usually when things change. The best work arrives all at the same time. There are human limits in time and capabilities. Some times you have to say no. You don’t get to do everything you want or need to do. Others will do differently. Things never go quite as planned. Big risks are essential to progress and so are the small (& big) failures. 

Accepting these realities has made me far more comfortable in my practice. Accepting these some times harsh realities has made me more ready to take advantages of the opportunities that are created.  These opportunities might be the chance to play a larger role in Change Agents Worldwide or another community, the new work that comes unexpectedly or the ability to leverage down time for reflection, connection and new projects, rather than panic.

I have found too that a better & richer focus on what is really going on for others and for me has strengthened both the personal and work relationships in my life.  Taking the time to really understand reality of the situation matters more to me than ever. Confronting reality isn’t always easy. Engaging with some perceptions and beliefs can be painful, some of these are deeply hidden and it can take a long time to accept some of the more difficult realities. However, reality will not and cannot be ignored.

My lessons from applying this effort with others have been equally insightful. So many times in our busyness, we assume we know what is required, we rely on expertise and miss the opportunities to really engage, to really help and to make a real difference. Our ability to work and collaborate with others depends on a rich shared context based in reality. Don’t accept things at face value. Take the time in 2016 to probe and to query the reality of the situation. Without feet planted firmly in reality, we have no way to step forward alone or together.

2016 will be another year of working deeply connected in reality for me. 

Helping Organisations Tackle Reality

In 2015, I blogged in a number of different ways about the need for organisations to better engage with reality. I called our hierarchical organisations dumb. I talked about hierarchy as filter failure. I highlighted that these organisations ignore complexity and even need satire to prick their bubbles some times. Change Agents need a good grip on reality and pragmatic skills to move organisations forward. There are many more examples of the battle to hold organisations accountable to the reality of their situation in the blog posts this year.

The future of work demands organisations step out from their cloisters and engage the reality and the pressures of the world inside their organisation and the world around them. Effectiveness of purpose demands that we look to the real human costs and benefit of that which we do. Internal efficiency or narrowly defined success metrics are no longer enough. Global networks and dynamic disruptive global competition will hold us to account for our failure to confront and leverage reality. 

The better organisations are learning how to use the reality of their people, their capabilities and their networks. They leverage the human capabilities of the people, their networks and their capabilities to continuously create change to grow and be more effective. These organisations recognise the reality that they are a human organisation, that they must base their actions on real conversations and real human capabilities for success. The future of work must be much more human to deliver their purposes. 

The need to tackle reality more effectively is why I focus on learning, leadership and collaboration as core enablers of the future of work. I believe that these three are essential to my personal purpose of making work more human. 2016 will be a key time helping organisations improve their effectiveness and better deliver that purpose in the real world.

ICYMI: 2015 Top 10 Posts by Popularity

The over 10,000 people who have visited this blog in 2015 enables us to review 2015 by popularity of each post. This blog has covered a lot of ground in 2015 in 206 posts so it is interesting to see what rises to the top of the social sharing. The practice of learning, leadership and collaboration for the future of work top the lists as they are the focus of my work and my interests:

  • Competency or Capability Mindsets Matter: I am a little surprised to see this post do so well. When I wrote it I thought of it as more of a technical post dealing with a key HR and management issue. Clearly the need in the future of work to focus on capability and move from strict competency resonates deeply.
  • The Last Thing We Need is an Enterprise Social Network:  This rant of a post from 2014 continues to circulate, educate and amuse
  • Working Out Loud 3 Tiny Habits: The growth of Working Out Loud in 2015 with the release of John Stepper’s book and two Working Out Loud Weeks has made this post from 2014 (and its various forms of content: posters and videos) enduringly popular
  • Big Learning: I see this post as another pillar of this blog ongoing. The idea of organisations needing to arrange systems to accelerate learning and capability development remains as urgent as ever. Big Learning is the next big challenge. In 2016, I am looking to bring Big Learning further to light with clients.
  • Beyond Adoption to Value Creation: The foundational post of my work in collaboration and probably the most linked post within this blog. Also widely used by others to explain the development of collaboration in organisations.
  • Why Hierarchical Management Survives: Institutional Filter Failure Struck me in a flash. Still surprises. As long as our organisations are deliberately dumbed down we will miss out.
  • The Growth Mindsets of Collaboration: I love Carol Dweck’s work on Growth Mindsets. Let’s hope more managers are inspired to consider & encourage them.
  • Double Loop Learning of Working Out Loud: This world has got to complex for single loops. Let’s help people to reflect on whether they are doing things right and even in a triple loop whether they are doing the right things. Working out loud will continue to be a key focus of my work in 2016
  • The Lean Startup of Me: If the circulation that this post received on Linkedin was added to its stats, this likely would have been #1 post of the year. It is certainly the post I get most questions about. This is still the way I approach my practice and life.  It has been invaluable to me and to those I coach on following the independent path.
  • The Future of Work is the Future of Leadership: Another foundational post from 2014 that benefited from a lot of links in 2015. Leadership work will be a big part of 2016. We need change and we need leaders at every level to get us there.

If I take out the 2014 posts, the next most popular 2015 additions would be:

This list of posts is a wonderful encapsulation of the focus of my work in 2015 and the areas that I will be focusing on growing in 2016. There are a few much beloved posts that failed to make these lists.  There are also many posts on the blog that probably should never have been written. That’s the journey of blogging consistently and working out loud on your practice and learning.

Thanks for your support in 2015 and I look forward to sharing more posts in 2016 and being involved in the great conversations that they inspire.

Leadership & Management

A dichotomy of leadership and management is not particularly useful. We need both. We also need to move beyond seeing these concepts as being fixed hierarchical statuses.

At the moment there seems to be a flood of articles and other content about the difference between leaders and managers. The general themes are that leaders are inspiring and people focused will managers are mechanical and fearsome. This content assumes both leaders and managers are hierarchically superior to their teams and that these two concepts are distinct statuses.

Both management and leadership are required in the future of work. However we need these concepts to mean exercise of the respective verbs, not a group of people holding a status. We need to recognise that the practices of leading and managing are our choices to get our work done. We need to manage our information, resources and relationships to achieve outcomes. We also need to lead others when we influence them to support our work.

Discussing leaders vs managers as hierarchical concepts takes us simply to better managers. The bigger issue is moving beyond leadership vs management. We need more of both. The issue is how we move beyond fixed titles like leader and manager that don’t reflect how we all get work done. We need everyone engaged in both leadership and management. A greater depth of leadership and management in our organisations will better enable us individually and collectively to create needed change.