Mintzberg Rejects Macro-Leadership
“Macro-leadership is just as bad
as micro-management.” Henry Mintzberg.
During our conversation, Mintzberg explained that, “It’s destructive to separate management from leadership. Leaders need to get their hands dirty.”
No buy in:
Mintzberg believes that leaders focused on setting strategy and vision but who are removed from the front lines eventually develop a vision for the organization so out of touch that the rest of the organization fails to buy in.
Frustrated buy in:
Mintzberg also believes there’s something worse than failure to buy in. There’s the problem of buying into a pie-in-the-sky vision but being incapable of taking any steps toward realization.
Disconnected strategy and vision is one problem with macro-leadership but there’s something more devastating.
“Arrogance comes from detachment.” Henry Mintzberg
When I asked Mintzberg to share the one piece of advice he most loves to share he said one word, “Connect.”
Connecting expresses, creates, and nurtures humility. Withdrawal suggests independence; connecting requires interdependence.
Humility is always practice never theory. Talking humility without practicing humility results in arrogance. When Jesus said let the leader among you be as one who serves, he turned leadership on its head and explained the cure for arrogance.
“Humility is common sense… None of us is an expert at everything… Humility is holding power for the good of others.” John Dickson.
Sources of arrogance:
Facebook contributors suggest sources of arrogance include:
- Being surrounded by indulgent “yes” people.
- Being a talker not a doer.
- Prior success. You think you know how to make it work because it worked before.
- Fear of saying, “I don’t know.”
Mintzberg’s latest book: “Managing”
How do leaders connect?
What prevents leaders from connecting?