We are all angels with only one wing We can only fly while embracing each other. ”Luciano de Crescenzo
Each of us possesses amazing resources of knowledge, wisdom, and creativity. Our organizations need to learn to respect, nurture, and accommodate this wealth of human capital. We need to learn how to liberate the power of peers to create extraordinary organizations. Unfortunately, the way most companies are managed today, they fail to make use of their most valuable resource ”their people. As we have seen, where the decision-making power rests with a select few at the top ”the CEO and the executive team ”the skills and abilities of most employees remain untapped. These corporate elites also tend to see the world in the same way and to share in a sense of entitlement over the organization's resources. History and current events show us that their interests do not always serve the best interests of the majority of people who have a stake in the well-being of their company.
This gap, I have argued, is a function of the context of rank-based organizations supported by the myth of leadership ”the belief that those at the top of the hierarchy are somehow better, more intelligent , more worthy than those below them; that they are heroic individuals who deserve to command and control everyone else and reap huge monetary rewards as well. Today, however, there is too much information and too many choices for rank-based organizations ”with their command-and-control hierarchies ”to be successful. The workforce is too educated and possesses expectations too high to be satisfied by traditional rank-based job descriptions, which inevitably result in low morale , declining health, and lower productivity.
For some time, management experts have preached the importance of creating an empowered workforce. Yet, rank-based thinking keeps organizations and its people from achieving one. Trying to empower people while holding onto the myth of leadership is like trying to drive a car with one foot on the gas and the other on the brake!