Welcome to the Machine…or how will this affect our people?

by J. William DeMarco

Shouldn’t that be the first question we ponder as leaders?

Seems like most people evaluate events or decisions based on how they will be affected personally.
Leaders need to ask not only how will this impact our people but they also need to look at how decisions will impact those above and next to them.  Leaders need to see decisions…everything in terms of the impact to the entire enterprise… and in some cases beyond.
It is all connected… in business, in the military, in the non-governmental space…diplomacy, development…and we are increasingly more connected.  The individual that understands that… is a true leader.
The strongest leaders are able to understand the relationships…both personal and organizational.

The strongest leaders might not be in a position of leadership:  this is a tough one for some folks to grasp, but as John Maxwell says… leadership is influence… and a Staff Sergeant and influence a Colonel as a Captain can influence a Chief Master Sergeant.  It is important to understand how YOU fit in your area…the gears, the cogs, how do you make your office better, what is your spear of influence–and how does it connect.

In terms of cogs, how does your cog or office fit into the organization, the bigger group?  Where does the organization fit into the bigger corporate structure and so on.  With this sort of thinking it is obvious that we can all be leaders and every leader honestly has a boss… so where do you want to lead and where/who do you want to influence?  How many cogs away from the place you want to influence are you?  Once you figure that out… start turning.  If it is all about getting better…both personally, professionally, and organizationally…aren’t we all leaders?

5 Replies to “Welcome to the Machine…or how will this affect our people?”

  1. Interesting post. How much responsibility do you think we have to influence those above us? Is it more practical to influence those we are responsible for and hope our example sets the pace for those above us?

    1. Thank for the comment Curtis: influence above can be a challenge, but if we want to make a difference: it is required. Some are very receptive to influence, others will take a bit of art and planning….but if it is all about getting better as an organization, we need to influence above…or at least try. What do you think? What’s your experience?

      1. My experience has definitely been difficult when trying to influence above. The only real effectiveness I have had is with a demonstration. For example, once my office is running well, my superiors seem much more receptive to my ideas for improving the organization as a whole.

        I have found that when I enter a new organization, it is most important to get myself squared away before considering macro organizational issues.

      2. good points Curtis. Tons depends on the leader as well. As a new guy, you are right, there is a period of proving that always seems to occur

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