Unsure? Connect the dots between Egypt and the prescient firing of Time Inc. Publishing Unit's CEO.
In a memo to Time employees, it was declared that CEO "Griffin's 'leadership style' was the reason for his ouster. Examples, so says the Wall Street Journal? His leading with his own ego (at great expense to the company, and at an absurd conflict the company's culture), and calling meetings at times fully disrespectful to the lives of the employees.
I've long said that at the answer to, "What to do about this omnipresent social media phenomenon and the world of work," is based in "behavior" more than "technology."
Think about the behavior we are now surrounded by in our daily lives. It is in-congruent with the style found in workplace cultures aligned solely with hierarchical leadership-driven "command and control."
We are living in an era where our population has been "trained" to participate.
- Participative TV (American Idol voting; Reality TV)
- Participative News (blogs; on-line comments)
- Participative Celebrity (personal branding)
- Participative Elections (Obama's fund-raising driven by $25 donations)
Here is the deal -- leadership has been too slow to welcome participative workplaces. And guess what happened while CEOs have been goaling their companies to be a "best place to work" while still not changing leadership styles?
The Baby Is Born.
In Egypt, I am taken with the quote, "the baby is born," from NEWSWEEK article titled "Rage Against the Regime"written in the midst of the uprising. Within this article, 44 year-old Egyptian journalist Gameela Ismail is quoted as saying,
"But the good part of it is that, you know, the baby was born! Finally, finally, the people feel confident that they can do something good, that they can show their anger, they can call ‘Down with Mubarak!’ They broke this barrier of fear—so the baby is born. Will it be a girl? A boy? Breast-fed or powder milk? How will we raise it? What school will it go to? That we do not know yet. But the baby is born.”
What Will Happen Next at Workplaces Globally
Socially-driven uprisings will happen in workplaces who have not yet tapped into the newly collaborative model of work. At risk are workplaces who do not recognize that their employees are adults -- adults who have ideas, who are close to customers, and who want to help their companies be more successful.
For years, maybe even decades, these employees have been "eating it." They've lived their job descriptions and put up with it when their ideas were ignored and squashed, when they see ignorant plays called, when they spend personal time writing status reports that they suspect no one is reading. They've been complaining at neighborhood barbeque's, sure, but that was about it. They were powerless to do anything more.
But now, there are new models for them to vet -- and vent -- their ideas.
So, what will you do? Ignore it? Or get ahead of it so you can work WITH this awesome power of passion? I see the choice as to get to know this new world, and participate in it, so that you can be the leader the workplace so desires -- or to have it ignore you. New leaders will emerge, with or without you.
--------------- TALK BACK ---------------------
Do you see it?
I have never seen anything more clearly in my professional life.
And it doesn't have to be bad. It can -- and wants to be -- GREAT.
The new participative model, with your great assistance, can make fast and informed decisions, it can generate revenue while you sleep, transform your customers into passionate and profitable advocates, and can move your brand into the spotlight with none of the old Madison Avenue tricks or expenses.
I have worked at the heart of the goodness of "social transformation at work," and can help you see and take the path, if you need help. It does take a tad of courage. Know it can be done, easier and faster than you think.
The employees are eagerly waiting for you to lead.
It is up to you.
PS: The baby shown happens to be mine. My third born; a natural leader, well-nurtured, and filled with awesome potential.
------------ UPDATE ----------------
Monday, March 7th. NPR may see it too -- though they took the leap to include Charlie Sheen.
In the article, "Charlie Sheen a bellwether for what's next," Michel Martin writes,
"And I know this: He is not the first and will not be the last person to want to tell his boss to stuff it. He will not, in these times when loyalty to employees is nonexistent, be the last to point out inconveniently that however much he is being paid, his bosses are making that much more from the fruits of his labor. He will not be the last to believe, as many people seem to think in many other fields of endeavor, that he can do whatever he wants — sexually, financially, to other people's retirement accounts — as long as he is bringing in the cash. And while I personally don't think his behavior is healthy for his five kids to witness, is it any worse than seeing your parents humiliated by long-term unemployment? But a million people aren't tweeting about that, are they?"