The problem with leaders is that they’re doing a superb job at leading broken organizations. Government. Healthcare. Education. Auto manufacturers. Wall St. The energy industry. All are in need of new models for 21st century economics and pace of change.
Umair Haque, author of The New Capitalist Manifesto, believes that 20th century leadership is stopping 21st century prosperity. We don’t need more leaders, he says, but people who know how to create institutions for the 21st century economic realities. Those who excel at leading existing organizational models are just making broken organizations slightly better.
In his Harvard Business Review post “The Builders’ Manifesto” Umair contrasts managers, leaders and builders, suggesting these 10 principles of what he calls Constructivism.
- The boss drives group members; the leader coaches them. The Builder learns from them.
- The boss depends upon authority; the leader on good will. The Builder depends on good.
- The boss inspires fear; the leader inspires enthusiasm. The Builder is inspired — by changing the world.
- The boss says “I”; the leader says “we”. The Builder says “all” — people, communities, and society.
- The boss assigns the task, the leader sets the pace. The Builder sees the outcome.
- The boss says, “Get there on time;” the leader gets there ahead of time. The Builder makes sure “getting there” matters.
- The boss fixes the blame for the breakdown; the leader fixes the breakdown. The Builder prevents the breakdown.
- The boss knows how; the leader shows how. The Builder shows why.
- The boss makes work a drudgery; the leader makes work a game. The Builder organizes love, not work.
- The boss says, “Go;” the leader says, “Let’s go.” The Builder says: “come.”