Leading So People Will Lead | managerSeminare Interview

Birgitt Williams managerSeminare interview

In interviews, I have been asked ‘are leaders ready to lead so that people will lead’?  And that’s exactly what I was asked in a short 7 minute video last month.  This interview, about leadership, was for managerSeminare magazine, a leading management magazine in Germany. The interview clip is a good one about leadership in the new paradigm of Leading So People Will Lead and worth spending a little time watching and reflecting about.

You can watch the video on the managerSeminare website (Interview is in English. Originally published in 2015, this article and video is now available only for purchase).

The points I made in response to this question are:

  1. In the 1990’s we were witnessing organization-wide leadership competencies appearing when we led whole system meetings using the method Open Space Technology (OST). In the debrief sessions with the formal leaders after the OST meeting, we reflected about the leadership that was visible as an existing resource throughout the organization. In response to my question ‘would you like to develop your organization so that you can benefit from this leadership in your people every day, not just at a meeting?’, all but a few leaders answered ‘I see the benefits, but I am not ready to work with this potential’.
  2. I noticed, beginning in 2002, that there was a notable increase in the number of leaders who responded ‘yes, I want to work with this potential of leadership throughout my organization’. I do not know why there was such a shift in 2002, yet I can report that at least 10% of the leaders we spoke with were interested and eager to work to develop a culture of leadership in which leadership throughout their organization could flourish. When we worked with these leaders, we came to refer to the resultant organizational model of operating as the Genuine Contact Organization.
  3. Another big shift seemed to happen in 2014. Our experience of this shift was when we held a webinar to declare the leadership paradigm ‘Leading So People Will Lead’ and the webinar was oversubscribed. In the weeks following the webinar, we were inundated with requests for the recording link. Since that webinar in June of 2014, we launched our world tour of workshops of The Genuine Contact Way: Nourishing a Culture of Leadership. Everywhere we have gone in 2014 and now into 2015, we are privileged to work with leaders who are striving to get clear on their role and competencies for nourishing a culture of leadership. They want to have the competencies and knowledge to lead so that people will lead. They understand the benefits of this leadership paradigm. To date, we have met with leaders in the USA, Canada, Germany, Switzerland, and Austria…all with the same desire and commitment.

Lately, I have been listening to progressive leaders who are committing to developing leadership as a core competency for their organizations. I am amazed and appreciative of this approach. Leaders are building ‘developing leadership’ as an integral part of their strategic choices for their organizations to thrive.

As you reflect about leadership development as a core competency for your own work, please take some time to watch the video (interview is in English). I am grateful to Dr. Matthias zur Bonsen in Germany for creating the opportunity for the interview, to editor Sylvia Lipkowski for the interview and for publishing an article in two focused articles as follows:

  1. In the current edition of Training Aktuel (German), the focus is on the Genuine Contact program and why it is of benefit to trainers and consultants to develop skills, concepts and techniques for nourishing a culture of leadership.
  2. In the next edition of managerSeminar (German) on April 24th, the focus is on leadership aspects including competencies and attitudes that leaders will need as we head into the future.

I am bubbling over with excitement…and gratitude. I just know that together, those of us committed to nourishing a culture of leadership will do a good job that makes a difference now…and for generations that follow.

Birgitt Williams
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Birgitt Williams is an international management and organizational solutions consultant, author, meeting facilitator, teacher, keynote speaker and executive coach. Her business focus is to create inspiring work environments that are highly effective in achieving their purpose and fulfilling their vision.

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