There’s a generally accepted organizational myth.
One that imagines that businesses are made.
By acquiring, arranging and rearranging parts.
People, teams, departments, managers.
Leaders think of themselves as technicians and architects.
Strategists who develop a plan and fashion the business in accordance with that plan.
Artists who impose their will on the “material” and bring their creation to life.
But businesses are not put together or molded.
You don’t work on them from the outside in, like a potter works with clay.
They’re living organisms that grow from the inside out.
They expand, they blossom.
Like a human body, they progressively complicate themselves.
And so that’s how we should lead them.
Like we lead our bodies.
We give up control.
We delegate responsibility.
We trust our organs to do what they’re supposed to do.
The stomach cares about what the stomach cares about.
It does what it needs to do to keep the body running.
If the head tries to control the stomach, the body won’t function properly.
The same is true of all of our other organs.
Nevertheless the head is in control.
Of what the body experiences.
The meaning, nutrition, exercise, rest and positive thoughts.
And that’s the leader’s ultimate responsibility.
To continuously feed and nourish the body.
Or the body will fail.