Leadership

Lunchtime Links: Your Business Doesn’t Always Need a Hero

By / Jan 15, 2014 (iStock/Thinkstock)

Why exalting heroic leadership above all else can hinder business growth. Also: how culture and strategy equally drive organizational success.

As awe-inspiring as it is to watch your most fearless project managers and senior directors lead your team to victory, always relying on them save the day can be detrimental to individual development.

Another option in today’s Lunchtime Links:

Share the spotlight: Always turning to your office’s most heroic leaders to solve project problems can have a downside, says Inc.com contributor Les McKeown. “Building myths and legends through heroic leadership is a vitally important part of the growth of any business, but insisting on, or regularly depending on, mythical, legendary solutions in a complex organization will cap its growth,” he writes. Conquering company concerns singlehandedly is awesome and all, but after a while, other employees—even the wallflowers—may want to take a stab at it. Creating reliable systems and processes that ensure everyone can take part helps build a foundation for collaboration, McKeown notes.

Culture and strategy in tandem: When your association creates a strategic plan, it’s natural to draw inspiration from your culture. After all, your culture shows the things you value as an organization, and those drive what you do. However, while many claim that culture is the be-all, end-all influence (that it “eats strategy for breakfast”), Jamie Notter suggests that the two work in tandem. “Strategy is not just direction, it’s how to achieve it,” Notter writes. “And culture is critical in achieving a strategy, since it drives behavior.” In other words, you can’t separate culture from strategy: “You either do them both well, or you get mediocrity.”

Prioritizing your proprietary audience: These days, it appears that every pop star’s loyal band of followers has been bestowed a name, from Justin Bieber’s “Beliebers” to Beyoncé’s “Beyhive.” Entertainers have a knack for making their audiences feel special, which translates into millions of records sold and undying devotion. With that in mind, Velvet Chainsaw’s Jeff Hurt believes conference planners need to reassess their priorities when it comes to their relationship with their attendees. “Your conference needs audiences to survive,” he says. “If you aren’t building, engaging, and activating proprietary audiences of your own, you are falling behind. Audiences are what our customers were before they were customers.” Keeping audience development at the forefront of event-planning strategies will help make you a conference superstar.

Is depending too much on heroic leadership stifling success in your office? Share in the comments.

Alexis Williams

Alexis Williams is a contributor to Associations Now. More »

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