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Times Have Changed

Yes, times have changed but, unfortunately, many of today's leaders still rely on the same outdated techniques from the industrial revolution. Since Berrett-Koehler’s founding in 1992, the company has strived to advance a new paradigm of leadership to replace the old, dominant, hierarchical, command-and-control paradigm. As Founder & CEO Steve Piersanti puts it, “we owe much of Berrett-Koehler’s success to ‘eating our own cooking’” i.e., intentionally putting the principles of The New Leadership Paradigm into practice.

Highlights from the Article

In this infographic, Piersanti lays out ten dimensions of the old command-and-control leadership paradigm and ten corresponding dimensions of the new paradigm, which might be called “shared leadership,” “servant leadership,” or “collaborative leadership.”

These ten dimensions were drawn from concepts in Berrett-Koehler books. But they also reflect experiences he has had over the years – both in his own career journey as well as many other experiences interacting with numerous organizations.

Here’s a sneak peek that summarizes the key principles of The New Leadership Paradigm:

  1. The organization is viewed as a network, not a pyramid: power is disbursed.

  2. Everyone is a leader, not a select few: utilize people's strengths.

  3. Collaboration is essential, not the exception: leadership through mutual respect.

  4. Purpose is what drives a company, not just profit: motivation, not money.

  5. Leaders are here to serve, not be served: benefiting everyone.

  6. Leaders succeed through love and caring, not competing: honor all contributors.

  7. Egalitarian structures are built, not class systems: fair processes and reward systems.

  8. Diversity and inclusion are valued and supported, not ignored: embrace differences.

  9. Information is shared openly with everyone, not restricted: radical transparency.

  10. Change is a whole-system process, not a top-down roll out: create positive change together.

The Gifted Perspective

Does your organization’s leadership culture really matter? The answer to that question is an unequivocal ... yes! Today more than ever you must pay attention to your leadership culture because it directly impacts organizational performance.

Passion. Commitment. Extra effort. These terms describe engaged workers. Engaged workers produce positive outcomes, accomplish more, and speak positively about their organizations. Business authors, Rick Wellins and Jim Concelman describe engagement as an amalgamation of commitment, loyalty, productivity, and ownership. In today’s volatile and complex marketplace, understanding what fosters and sustains employee engagement and motivation – and thus, organizational performance – is critical.

Assess Your Leadership Culture

Download the infographic and rate your business or organization related to the 10 dimensions of Piersanti’s New Leadership Paradigm. For each dimension, consider the contrasting statements to be two ends of a continuum. Give your business/organization a 1 if you’re at the Traditional Command & Control end of the continuum, a 10 if you’re at the New Leadership Paradigm end of the continuum, or some other number that represents where you are in relation to each pole (e.g., a “5” or “6” if you’re somewhere in the middle, or maybe a “3” or ”7” if you lean toward one pole or the other).

Once you have individual ratings for each of the 10 dimensions, add them all together to arrive at a total “score.” Compare your overall rating to the “key” below:

10-20: Good luck with that!

20-40: You’ve got a lot of work to do but no where to go but up!

40-60: You’re middle of the road. How motivated are you to shift more toward the new paradigm? We can help!

60-80: You’re doing some good things, keep it up. We can help you move from good to great!

80-100: Wow! Contact us, we’d like to study you and document what you’re doing to create a strong New Leadership Paradigm culture.

We will partner with you and your team to coach, consult, support, and encourage you through the change process involved in fully shifting into “The New Leadership Paradigm.” Contact us today about individual leadership coaching or our Teams That Talk™ coaching approach!


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