Leading Beyond Management Fads – Nu Leadership Series

“ Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.”
Nelson Mandela

How can organizations that have highly intelligent staff and an abundance of information falter? From my experience, it goes back to a leader’s personal pride or arrogance. Many feel they made it on their own because they operate in a meritocracy. They find comfort in implementing the latest management fads.

Surprisingly, executives are gullible to the latest consultant’s trickery (empowering management, TQM, matrix management, etc.) in spite of their intelligence. How can organizations apply strategic thinking to their organizations? Although there are various innovative management programs, real strategists don’t need to use tricks.

Recently, I interviewed a former co-worker and friend. He had left the government at a time of great promise in his career. He started his own consulting firm in 2000. Many people criticized him and felt it was a reckless behavior. Today, my friend runs a top Inc. 500 company with 40 people and a budget over $22 million. His passion and foresight are strategic. He launched his career based on his faith in several key dates in an undeveloped industry. His strategic thinking led to this current success in the market.

Loaded with his vision, he didn’t follow any script. This has kept him competitive. He’s indeed “a rebel with a cause.” Wacker, Taylor, and Means, leadership gurus, advocate a leader’s need for an attitude of insurgency. They write, “Fail to see yourself as a radical in whatever domain you aspire to, and you’ll be just another player.” My friend is no ordinary player.

Likewise, I hope that other individuals grow this type of passion to become an organizational “rebel with a cause.” These individuals are not happy with the status quo. Effective leaders understand how to harness this creative energy while self-serving managers view these individuals as threats to their corporate structure. As global competition continues to threaten organizations, today’s leaders cannot afford to underutilize the power of its knowledge workers within their organizations.


Bacal & Associates (n.d.). Management Fads: Things You Show Know To Not Get Suckered. Received on January 1, 2006 from http://www.work911.com/articles/mgmtfad.htm.

Wacker, W., Taylor, J., & Means, H. (2000). The Visionary’s Handbook. New York: HarperBusiness.

© 2006 by Daryl D. Green