What is Leadership? How do we lead?

What is leadership?  We can learn a lot from our military as they have truly embraced how to build dynamic teams and effective leadership.  this article by Andreas truly looks at some of the critical thinking that goes into dynamic effective team leadership…an article we all should embrace and understand.   Take a look I think you will gain a lot from the insights presented herein.



Leadership Today – The Horse Is NOT Here To Stay


Director Kindle Content Acquisition at Amazon

In 1903 an educated and well-known business man proclaimed:

“The horse is here to stay but the automobile is only a novelty – a fad.”

The gentleman was the distinguished president of the Michigan Savings Bank advising Henry Ford’s lawyer not to invest in the Ford Motor Company.

More than a hundred years later another, much more famous business man vocalized:

“There’s no chance that the iPhone is going to get any significant market share. No chance.”

It was Microsoft’s then CEO Steve Ballmer laughing off the iPhone when being asked in aninterview in 2007 what he thought of the coming iPhone launch.

Certainly you’ve heard of similar anecdotes and related misjudgments. Many companies are still having to bear the consequences until present time. At least those which have survived.

So, what is it that quite frequently causes experienced and successful business leaders to arrive at utterly wrong conclusions? Ignorance? Arrogance? Lack of vision and imagination? All of them?

In my opinion they lack comprehension of how to live by two of today’s most relevant business and leadership principles : First, they are not VUCA leaders. Second, they have not been able (yet) to grasp the concept of DyBoPe leadership.

The VUCA Leader

VUCA is a term, or more precisely, an acronym which was coined by the military and describes volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity of general conditions and situations. Also in the business world it relates to how people view the conditions under which they make decisions, manage risks, plan ahead, drive change and solve problems.

VUCA leaders are trained to anticipate future issues, are aware of consequences of possible actions, understand how multiple variables interact, develop alternative plans, are well prepared for crisis management, and are clear about how to detect and quickly seize new opportunities. VUCA leaders have figured out that the horse is a horse. Not a car. And not a plane.

The DyBoPe Leader

VUCA with its more practical code for awareness and readiness assists leaders in spotting the coming wave and helps bypassing or avoiding it. However, to ride the wave, i.e. to be disruptive, to be innovative, and to actively define the rules of the game it takes leaders who are extremely agile, courageous, and who love building top performing teams.

Dynamic (Dy), bold (Bo), and people-focused (Pe) leaders possess the following distinct characteristics:

Willingness to learn by doing and by experimentation; after having conducted some solid analyses first

Use of greatly flexible decision making models; e.g. algorithm-based probabilistic modeling

Cultivation of just-in-time decision making

Upbringing of emerging issues at a very early point of time, i.e before they get (too) big and nasty

Obsession by fewer, bigger, better. They pursue not more than 3 major initiatives and projects at the same time. In parallel their teams are empowered and have the right to stop non-priority tasks.

Honest joy in supporting their peers and teams

Pace-setting, if multiple tasks need to be accomplished in tight time frames. Best done with experienced teams

Coaching and building on team members’ individual strengths. Works very well when the team is self-proficient, self-disciplined, and willing to think outside of the box with almost no direction from the top needed

Building of Long Term Relationships which are founded on trust, values, ethics, and fundamental principles. They love “to give without any strings attached.”

Installing VUCA and DyBoPe Structures And Processes

To make the two concepts become reality existing structures, processes, and procedures need to be radically redesigned. They would need to become more simple, leaner, and geared towards quick and smart decision making.

In today’s fast-paced world, a successful leader should be able to draw from a variety of resources and skills to build a holistic leadership style that is anticipative, dynamic, innovative and bold. No leader can predict the future. However, she can build dynamic organizations that will flourish in whatever possible future scenario.

Final Thoughts

To summarize let me quote Peter Lake, the main character in Mark Helprin”s book Winter’s Tale:

„Who is worse? The horse who won’t listen to his master or the master who listens to his horse?“

Or, in my own words: Start immediately to VUCA-nize and to DyBoPe-nize yourself, your life, and your business!

What do you think? Looking forward to receiving your feedback. Join the discussion!

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7 Comments to “What is Leadership? How do we lead?”

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