The Millennial Leadership Series: Authenticity and the Gremlin


Gremlin

Wish you, dear Reader,  a wonderful 2018 ahead! 

On a longish flight last week, I was again drawn to “Taming your Gremlin”. In the book, the author Rick Carson claims to offer a surprisingly simple method for getting out of your own way.  As I riffled through the pages, I came across the various manifested Gremlins who masquerade as us to the outside world in terms of our personality, our beliefs and our behaviours. This inauthentic persona a.k.a. our Gremlin got created somewhere in the past due to certain specific circumstances but has now taken control of who we are.

Millennial leaders are being increasingly buffeted by disruptions and an environment that lacks predictable cycles and trends. Such unpredictability gives short shrift to management tools and organisational decision making processes. In the absence of path clarity Leadership can get subsumed by the Gremlin.

The Gremlin whispers.

“As a leader you cannot afford to lose peoples’ admiration. If needed you need to stretch the truth and hide what is embarrassing or awkward and even…..manipulate situations and people.”

“As a Leader you need to maintain the pretense of loyalty to your bosses and supporters. Otherwise you run the risk of losing their admiration and support in these uncertain times.”

“You need to look knowledgeable and pretend to have understood things which you haven’t. Else people would think poorly of you.”

Increasingly the inauthentic ‘Gremlin’ persona holds sway. But unfortunately, the personality traits, the beliefs and the behaviour which worked earlier might not succeed under the changed circumstances. After all ……………………

  • Can you be effective in what you want to do when you are trying to be someone you are not?
  • Can you put faith and trust in others to handle an uncertain situation when you yourself are faking it?
  • Can you exercise moral authority on people to embrace something new when you are being inauthentic?

The millennial leader needs to increasingly anchor himself to the foundational element of Authenticity. Being authentic is being and acting consistent with who he holds himself out to be for others, and who he holds himself to be for himself.

Also, one cannot pretend to be authentic. That, by definition, is inauthentic……………

So, what is the pathway that the Millennial leader needs to follow to improve his authenticity?

 

In Learning…………

Acknowledgement:  Taming your Gremlins by Richard D. Carson. Harper Collins, 2003

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The Millennial Leadership Series : Disrupt or be Disrupted?


disruptive humour

Disruption, be it through technology, innovation process or through something else, seems to be the flavour of the corporate environment. So what is disruption? In simple terms, it is when a new product or service helps create a new market and in the process significantly weakens and at times destroys an existing product or service, market category and even an industry.

As can be seen from the above, there are two facets of Leadership that operate in a disruptive environment.

First, the kind of Leadership that can envision and innovate a product, service or process that  either creates a new market or sets about destroying an existing product market category. Think of the I Phone. Think of Uber.

Second, the kind of Leadership that can recognise the disruptions gaining strength within the industry and take timely and intuitive actions to not only protect one’s  existing business but ride the disruption as an opportunity. Think of General Motors and its incisive investments into EV and autonomous vehicle technology.

The 20th Century has been witness to innumerable cases of strong leaderships with impeccable management credentials consistently failing to anticipate market disruptions and falling by the wayside. Think of Kodak.

With the exponential growth of disruptive products and processes that we are witness to today and the convergence of these to create mega disruptive trends, a completely new kind of Leadership blueprint and mindset is needed to be effective in the twenty-first century.

What kind of Leadership blueprint and mindset might this be? How does one acquire it?