I have been hearing from a number of my members this month that the network that the company builds can be the most powerful thing they have and can is perhaps the single biggest differentiation that they can have. For some building and leveraging those relationships are more important than strategy?
Abraham Zaleznick contrasted two very different styles of authority. Managers, he argued, take a rational approach and seek order and control. Leaders, on the other hand, are more emotionally driven and seek to drive change. Every organization needs both. Managers provide the continuity needed to execute efficiently and leaders drive the kinetic energy needed to respond dynamically to the needs of the marketplace. The best CEOs, like Steve Jobs and A.G. Lafley, are both great managers and great leaders. Today, however, the most important capabilities and resources often lie outside of an organization. So executives need to leverage platforms in order to access ecosystems. Therefore, the ability to manage operations and the capacity to inspire employees is no longer enough. Today, we must learn how to shape networks around a shared purpose.