Building a foundation of principle-centered capability will help you thrive

By Bill Poole

Part 4 of 4

 A leader with a Micro-Manage Mindset (MM) talks at employees, not with them. It is as though everyone speaks different languages at every level. Anything a leader with MM says is interpreted as a distortion of what they are trying to say. Employees take turns using the grapevine, tune the leader out entirely, and start doing whatever they must do to survive. The language choke point keeps them stuck in Oldland.

On the other hand, an executive with a Leaders of Leaders’ mindset (LL) and the Transformer team use a common language as part of their solution. This language is simple, symbolic, flexible, and non-threatening so all levels of the organization can connect and relate to each other’s reality. This flexible language allows each area of the company to give input and make their own applications while maintaining the message’s intent. It is as if they all speak the same language, yet with distinct accents, which add clarity and richness to their experience.

Leaders use this common language as a platform to articulate their vision and strategy with speed and clarity, confront attitudes and behaviors, provide “just in time” 360-degree feedback during meetings, coaching, and reviews. Leaders communicate between positional and geographical chasms with practical ease and create a critical connection to the frontline and Transformer ream. They cannot imagine living without this new language—it is as if they went from black and white TV to 4K overnight.

Are You Stuck in a Choke Point?

Which approach best describes your encounter with the Great Change and the choke points that keep you from your Newland?

  • Tip 1: To solve the Leadership Choke Point, minimize push and create a pull that spawns participation, ownership and reduces resistance. It is optimal to manage projects and lead people.
  • Tip 2: To solve the Mindset Choke Point, move from a security to an opportunity environment. Focus on a mindset and skillset where people suspend and challenge assumptions through optimal listening and dialogue instead of slipping into denial, groupthink, self-defense, misplaced advocacy, or hidden agendas.
  • Tip 3: To solve the Language Choke Point, move from a positional “us-them” or geographical chasm to a shared commonality. Utilize a common language that is simple, symbolic, flexible, and emotionally non-threatening to articulate strategies and plans quickly and consistently.

Now What?

The raging winds of the Great Change are sweeping across our world. Are you building a foundation of principle-centered capability to survive and thrive in Newland? Or will the choke points of leadership, mindset, and language bury you in Oldland?

Remember… if you’re not leading change, you’re history.


Bill Poole is CEO of J2N Global and author of Journey to Newland.

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