Change and Live: Leadership Today

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Leaders and Teachers

The system of business allows (even requires) for Leaders and Followers, Teachers and Students.  And they each learn from each other.  Ideas and work must integrate and filtrate throughout the system, ideas and work which supports the universal goal or organizational vision – the raison d’être.  

The value of this joint path becomes clearly evident when innovation blooms and powers the spirit of a growing organization.

The last several tech companies where I have worked have laid a clear foundation for me of what works and what does not. These experiences coupled with research and study prove the worth to me of a working system – a team of individuals striving toward a unified goal – one that changes their work and their industry for the better.

The System

It only works as a system when individuals (parts of the system) work.   I’d like to flip a typical org chart on its ear and place leadership at the base or on the bottom of the chart and rip the insides out to find the “managers in the middle”, the 360 degree leaders who inspire without compensation, influence without recognition, encourage without fanfare, and teach without direction.  They are motivated by an envious force, a drive which sees and foretells potential, that yearns for the better way.

This Place of Birth

It is where entrepreneurs are born.  It is where leaders emerge from the unlikeliest of places.  The starters in the middle, the unstoppable teachers at the top, and the yearners from the bottom whose appetites have barely been whetted.  Innovation is not reserved for technology.  Innovation finds its birthplace in disruption of any kind.  Change or Die is a now a common mantra; I prefer Change and Live.  When management methods forget about reality, there is little hope for innovation.  Common practices are just that: common.  A true leader is prepared for this, desires this.  But many managers are ill-prepared for the role of Leader.

Leadership Today

Today’s Leader must look beyond, become a seer of untapped resources and always find the “right place to be, at the right time”.  Developing the marks of a true leader is not impossible.  While some might argue that Leaders are Born, others profess that Leaders are Taught – I believe the true Gem of Leadership is there waiting to be discovered within each of us.  But we must be willing to search for the treasure and polish it.  So the two schools of thought are both correct, they dependent upon each other: the nature is enhanced by the nurture, and the nurture unearths a nature not yet revealed.

Trademarks of Leadership Today

  • Foster internal collaboration
  • Generate a spirit of solidarity
  • Create emotional attachment within a group/project/process
  • Inspire disruption, innovation, and change
  • Discover the Starters, Teachers, and Yearners
  • Motivate in ways that work <KEY: Change when motivators don’t work>
  • Align efforts, sync goals, complete projects

Employees want to perform better, so they do.  Ultimately, disruption is the necessary enhancer.  It starts at the top.  In the middle.  And at the bottom.


by Rayanne Thorn



Talent Management Series
Part 1: The Greatest Challenge for Businesses Today? Talent Management
Part 2: Successful Talent Management Requires Creative Retention
Part 3: Culture Breeds Commitment: The Truth about Talent Loyalty
Part 4: 5 Simple Reasons You Didn’t Get The Job
Part 5: The Impact of The Social Jobseeker
Part 6: Age Discrimination Has No Bias
Part 7: Change and Live: Leadership Today

**Some information presented in this series comes from the book, Ups and Downs of Talent Management in Challenging Business Environments.  If you’d like a free copy of this quick read, please email me at and I will be happy to send you a copy.  Thanks!









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  1. And, of course, leaders take on the tough challenges first. When othere see the leader getting their hands dirty, they tend to put aside their objections and pitch in.

    In my current position, a funny thing happened. On a project, we had the need to shift work. Of course, no one wanted the 12 am to 10 am shift. Except me. I did it, and management saw me as someone who wanted to succeed no matter whatand could be depended upon. All of a sudden, I began to be treated very well. I got my hands dirty and showed I cared.

    This was a great post and very interesting.

    Henry Motyka |
  2. Thanks so much, Henry —
    And I love your story. Sometimes success requires us to sacrifice, personally – as you have volunteered to do with your organization. I have accomplished the same thing by working while on vacation. Devotion is devotion – and it is respected.
    Dirty hands means hard work…


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