Posts Tagged ‘new leadership model’



May 16, 2012

Yeah! for Minnesota’s Dave Foster, formerly a director of United Steelworkers District 11 as well as faculty member at UM Carlson School of Management…who has spoken up about REAL impacts of Romney and BAIN, using 750 workers at GST Steel to show the errors in Romney”s incessant boast about job creation!  Foster argues that BAIN’S majority stake in GST and its failure is much more realistic “fact” than taking full credit for growth at Steel Dynamics where BAIN’S 20% interest had much less impact.

Foster references BAIN practices that proved disasterous and suggested that in today’s world of global pricing and other changes, one cannot expect to succeed applying outdated, inffective methods – especially when you are funded by highly-leveraged investors looking for the quick financial win.

This thinking resonates with me, and is finally an opening in this almost irrelevant argument regarding Romney’s skills and business expertise reminsicent of the 1970s-90s.

We may joke about his out-of-touch reference to the “soviets” and suggest that he may not be a rock-star on Foreign Policy, but WHY do we not question expertise gained in a time gone-by that fueled an era that culminated in the practices of the first decade of the 2lst century that destroyed our economy and is the reason for the economic debate in the first place?  This makes no sense to me at all.

We need to take seriously the fact that his claim to fame for business acumen are based on a BY-GONE time which has almost no real relationship to successful “business” in today’s global and digital world. And I do know of what I speak.

I was there in corporate Amerca – along with Romney – through the 1970s-90s – and was not only the “first woman director” in two organizations, but also the “first woman vice president” in one.  Because of the business I was in, I knew a little bit about a LOT of US businesses from manufacturing to service industries, their cultures and many of their executive staff.  Some were stars; some not so much. And I can say without a doubt if the thought-leaders of that by-gone era did not make 180 degree shifts in their thinking to RE-INVENT themselves to meet changing times and needs, they would be failures in today’s world – not leaders.

But don’t take my opinion as reason to question..just look at changes in manufacturing today…many  are out of work today because technology and robots  has changed the needs in a factory, and many of the under- and unemployed no loger fit the needs. Innovative business leaders that are enjoying success today have moved past the practices of the 20th century and re-invented themselves and their businesses to reflect the world of today.  Lets not dismiss the fact that today businesses have returned to equal productivity experienced before 2008 – they simply are doing it with Five Million less people.  Give me a couple examples of innovative or fast-thinking Romney moments in the campaign so far, and you might give me pause to rethink if I have judged too hastily.

Surely one should question his Leadership ability -saving a long-ago Olympics or not – when we have seen for months that he seems to be having some difficulty LEADING the infuential members as well as general populus of the Republican Party to even support him with enthusiasm in his bid for election.

In a world that is rejecting top-down, “do as I say”, management and embracing the collaborative, innovative, connected world in which we live today, is Romney really what we want as the next leader of our country?



January 19, 2010

Sunday’s paper had a review of Daniel Pink’s new book DRIVE; then on Monday morning, the STRIB had more.

A tiny paragraph reported that the Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology reinforces the “self-determination theory” upon which DRIVE is based. Their study found that people feel better on weekends because they love the freedom and feel more competent. They conclude that “well-being is based on one’s personal needs for autonomy, competence, and social relationships.”

It appears the debate between traditional Motivation 2.0 and Motivation 3.0 is gaining legs.

As for my own thoughts, a little processing over the past few days had led me to open up to much of what was being said-particularly in terms of the need to connect, engage, and be heard. I’m definitely a proponent of “marketing with, not to” our customers and the fact that the world has changed-a new paradigm of leadership is evolving based on influence, not control. That coupled with my own personal experience in the corporate world where I often felt out of step because I was not working for my bonus or to be a Goalmaker – but because I loved what I did and was driven to do it well…for my company and for my own well-being and growth. And, as I look back, for most of my working life, I have been blessed with leadership that has allowed me to do that. And when I did not have that, I had to move on.

So I looked forward to the gathering at Barnes and Noble last nite to listen to Pink, get answers to my questions, and hopefully meld the two theories into something with familiar roots, and an exciting new future.

Off I went, book in hand, along with a list of questions/comments scribbled in the margins of the book as I read it. Arriving about 6:15 so I could claim a good seat, have time to browse through the B&N design section, and still be in place and ready at 7, I was met by a young lady with bad news.

Pink’s flight out of Portland was cancelled; the appearance was cancelled.