The Frames of Leadership

Julian Stodd’s piece “The Frames of Leadership” was interesting reading, indeed, but it made me wonder, how widespread are these concepts from “The Social Age?” When and how is the average, non-union employee “rewarded.”

I’m looking back on years in the work force, most recently as a supervisor in the billing department of a large, non-profit behavioral health organization. I was proud to be a member of the staff, because I valued the services the organization provides, including crisis intervention, residential facilities for detox and recovery, a variety of family services and day programs for individuals with a variety of behavioral challenges. These services are not only important, they’re crucial to the wellbeing of any large community.

What surprised me was the way we employees were treated; I’d expected more from an organization with a socially conscious mission statement. Instead, the practices mirrored the model I’ve seen time and again and which is, sadly, “the norm” for most US corporations. Employees are doing the work previously assigned to two or three people, the staff is kept at “skeleton crew” level to save money, the lunch hour is now half an hour, employees who use their sick time are reprimanded, pay check deductions for benefits such as healthcare increase every year and the annual raise averages 3%, if you’re fortunate enough to be working for a company where wages haven’t been frozen.

When employers treat the workforce this way, the atmosphere may be pleasant on the surface, but if you talk with individuals, you’ll find they’re disgusted, exhausted and see their job as “doing time” until they’re able to retire, which for many folks is not at age 65. I’m sure there are some enlightened employers here in the US and reading Mr. Stodd’s post gave me a sense of hope for the future. Unfortunately, I think those working “9 to 5” these days are less than satisfied with their leaders. TGIF, indeed!

Julian Stodd's Learning Blog

The Social Age rewards agility: the ability to frame and reframe problems, to deploy our communities and experiment, question and react at speed. It’s less about mastery of process, more about communication and collaboration. Social Leaders demonstrate a rounded skill set: a holistic mastery of these skills and a consistent demonstration of these behaviours over time. Reputation is founded upon this consistency.

The Frames of Leadership We can reduce leadership to be viewed within different frames, but it’s only in the holistic application that we can be effective.

In traditional terms, it’s a mixture of hard and soft skills: sure, there is an element of technology that needs to be mastered, but there is very little process. Social Leadership is more about storytelling, sharing and reciprocating than it is about performance reviews and competency frameworks. It may exist alongside these things, but the authority is garners is consensual, granted through the community.

Agile…

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3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Willy Nilly
    Sep 29, 2014 @ 14:59:10

    Your’s is the concise voice of reason we would like American commerce to hear. A great deal of my research was on the impact of future belt tightening needed within the Dept. of Defense to survive in an increasingly volatile world while budgets shrink far below the minimum needed. Not unlike the commercial sector in this regard. While we can debate the need, the point is what decisions were made. Eliminate people and make those left do more. Leaders are failing at record numbers in the DoD, The rank and file are imploding, betrayed by leadership, the VA and all the brave words about honor, integrity, and selfless service. Leadership has forgotten that when you take care of people, they will take care of the business that needs to be accomplished. Managing revenue reports by turning over the workforce repeatedly and overworking those that remain is a formula for long term disaster.

    Reply

  2. Laura
    Sep 29, 2014 @ 15:06:23

    AMEN! And so well said. Thank you!

    Reply

  3. Laura
    Oct 09, 2014 @ 19:14:30

    Willy Nilly: I was thinking about the “belt tightening” you described in your comment. It’s interesting, because the last time I checked, the Dept. of Defense budget was 50% of the total US budget. Since the post-9/11 war on Iraq, there have been many articles written about the failure to fairly compensate the members of our military, as well as the need for a higher standard of care for the wounded and support for returning vets, in general. As you said, “Leadership has forgotten…” Sadly, when these men and women experience the stress of overwork it can cost them more than their health, it might cost them their lives!

    Reply

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