Organizations and managers crave certainty. That’s why the spreadsheet was invented. Put a lot of them in a three-ring binder, sprinkle in some pie charts, and everyone breathes a sigh of relief.
You cannot eliminate uncertainty. And, it’s impossible to create complete certainty. Some things remain uncertain, unmeasurable, unpredictable and, so, require faith as a tool of leadership.
We have no faith, so we live and work in a world of fear and mistrust. The degree of fear and mistrust are reflected formally by the intensity of an organization’s processes, systems, procedures and rules, and informally in the behavioral weaknesses of its leaders.
But, you say, fear and mistrust come along with the territory, the human jungle, the fight for survival. Yes, it’s true. The human condition is a wretched state of affairs — brutish, nasty and short. How’s that working for you?
Leadership — like all acts of creation, like all works of art — is a rebellion. You must rebel against this wretched state of affairs.
Your job is to transcend what fear and mistrust do to an organization, how it pollutes people’s problem solving passion and abilities. Remember this — excessive and rigid processes, systems, rules and procedures are a tax you pay for being afraid and suspicious.
Lead, don’t manage. Sprinkle in some faith instead.