Leadership in the New Reality
Last week I had the pleasure of meeting Lt. General Russel L. Honore U.S. Army Retired. He talked specifically about “Leadership in the New Normal” and “Don’t Get Stuck on Stupid.” Both of those subjects triggered thoughts and memories. (You can get both subjects as books)
After the disaster of 911 in the United States I gave talks at associations and dealer meetings around North America and Europe on what I called “The New Reality.” These talks were met with mixed reviews, some positive and others not so much. Let me take a deeper dive into why we had different views with a quote from George Friedman. “The mortal enemies of intelligence are time and wishful thinking.”
The New Normal the General is asking us to consider consists of some of the amazing changes we have seen in our world over the past twenty years; the nearly instantaneous transmission of information, the extreme population densities we are experiencing in cities, the extraordinary interconnectedness and mutual dependence of business; the rise of terrorism, and the growing ranks of the poor.
I ask often, with the trillions of dollars spent on technology over the past two decades, how much has been spent on sociology to understand what people will be going through with Robotics, Artificial Intelligence, Virtual Reality and Autonomous Vehicles.
The New Reality from my perspective involves our ability to attract and retain talented employees from an ever-declining working population and the generational differences between the “Baby Boomers” and “Millennials.”
This is where I ask people to consider what we call “Sacred Cows.”
At the start of every classroom training session I have conducted over the past fifty years I have asked for three definitions.
- What is the definition if Ignorance?
- What is the definition of Stupidity?
- What is the definition of Insanity?
- Ignorance is not knowing what to do.
- Stupidity is knowing what to do but not doing it.
- Insanity is continuing to do what you have always done and expecting different results.
This takes me to the core of my work today. Everyone needs to be constantly investing their time in improving themselves professionally and personally. If you don’t continue to adapt to this new reality you will become irrelevant. Is that something that you aspire to?
The Time is Now.