Jeff is thinking like a next-decade leader. He understands that success in an environment of growing unpredictability and change will require more than effective execution and low production costs. Without infusing into the culture a thirst for innovation and the energy required to thrive and win, his company could end up as a footnote in some Harvard case study.
My experience with leaders who have the passion archetypes to deliver the leadership agility that Jeff’s company requires in the next decade suggests that he needs someone who is a Builder, courageous enough to pursue huge goals even when the odds are tough, someone for whom no effort is too great. His company will need a Transformer, an individual who thrives in change and identifies the new order that will emerge from it, well before others do. Jeff also needs a Conceiver, an innovative, game-changing thinker, who will push the organization and him into new intellectual territory and challenge the status quo. And, because growing his business will require that the company move into uncharted territory and new countries, Jeff needs a Connector who is gifted at building relationships and negotiating across divides.
As we poured over the accomplishments of specific staff members and reviewed their passion archetypes, it became clear to Jeff that he was looking for more than just one person; he needed a team of talent who would collectively comprise the “leadership archetype” he was seeking. Thriving in 2020 and beyond will require that Jeff think of his staff as a collection of talent, who bring not only skill-based expertise and experience to the business, but also a unique combination of passions that provide the organization with the diversity of perspective so needed for future success.
There is not a leader that I know, worth the respect of his or her colleagues, who isn’t like Jeff — worried about developing the talent today that their organizations will need tomorrow. Doing so requires that these leaders look beyond skill building as the primary methodology for growing capability in the business. While it is a part of the solution required for next-decade leadership, the competitive advantage of leveraging workplace passions cannot be overstated or ignored.
This article by Alaina Love was first published in SmartBrief on Leadership in August 2016.