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Charlene Li: Leading by letting go

The introduction into the workplace of social media tools and other technologies that make communication easier, broader, and faster, tend to underscore a lesson that most managers used to take many years to learn: that we lead not by controlling but by inspiring.

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bernd-nurnberger's picture

Thank you. Leading by example comes to mind. With the cost of sharing approaching their natural baseline, close to zero, near the cost of attention, exemplary leaders can "command" a lot of attention. Just an inspiring example, Vineet Nayar and his service level agreements, the "tickets" described in Extreme Management Makeover at MIX and elsewhere.

Involving many stakeholders before coming to large decisions has in the past been typical of Japanese management "nemawashi". This used to surprise business partners from abroad, because it took so long to get to a decision. Now that this essentially social practice spreads and speeds up by collective sharing tools, I expect it to help speed up collaborative decision-making, also in Japan. Now I look to the rate of adopting tools, practices, and principles, by inspired and inspiring role models in leading positions, to set apart the winning organizations.