If you're a frequent flyer of this blog and our newsletter, you already know Ripple Leaders are people committed to working on themselves, their colleagues, and their organizations for shared success now and into the future. (The name comes from the book I published last year to assist organizational leaders in their development and growth.)
So why now? Why more than ever?
Josh Schuler and I conducted a strategic retreat a few weeks ago with a senior executive team whose company is experiencing unprecedented change and challenge. Their industry is consolidating, their products are experiencing more competition than ever before, and they are in the midst of expanding operations to an entirely new market. You might say they are in the midst of a "perfect storm" of conditions, any of which could swamp the boat.
Fortunately, the CEO of this company is a true Ripple Leader. He understands that setting the example in the way he leads this team will dramatically influence their ability to weather the storm successfully. He is intentionally focusing on how the team leverages everyone's unique strengths and enables each member to call on one another directly for support. He is assisting the team in shaping their collective response to the changes. And he understands the importance of the team ability to shift the culture from silos to a unified response. Without it, the company will likely not succeed in the long run.
Josh and I are very pleased the retreat assisted the company in getting more aligned and tightly connected. Yet the true test will be the CEO's ability and willingness to foster the kind of leadership that will ripple out into the entire organization.
What about my company?
Conditions aren't going to be improving for companies anytime soon. In fact, we're seeing strong indications they will only continue to intensify. We believe the future belongs to leaders who do the hard work on themselves first, who intentionally equip their teams with the ability to use their individual skills for everyone's gain, and who purposefully evolve the organizational structure. There is simply too much complexity any longer for any one person to lead by knowing and doing it all, and too much external competition for functions to be competing internally and still have organizations win.
Ripple leadership starts with you. And your leadership is needed more than ever.