Monday, August 29, 2011

Put Down that Mobile Device

As our country and world cries out for quality leadership, I seem drawn to the topic of command presence. Followers are crying out for leaders they trust and respect. Are you one of them?

A few years ago, I attended a prestigious leadership conference for corporate executives and leaders. The venue was small, and the attendees were some of the best and brightest this country had to offer. Not surprisingly, however, many of the attendees spent most of the day heads-down focused on their mobile devices and less on the speakers. The first speaker addressed the issue, but admitted there was little that he could do to control the behavior. Very few of the attendees put down their mobile devices and listened.

As I sat in that room that day, I realized that even the best of best leaders need to work on their command presence--most importantly their literal presence when interacting with others. If these leaders could behave in such a fashion to some the most well-known leadership experts in the world, I wondered if they would do the same during meetings with their subordinates. Additionally, would they allow their subordinates to do the same, creating a culture of inattention and disrespect?

My impetus for this entry came from Nilofer Merchant's HBR Blog Network article titled "It's the Leadership, Stupid." Nilofer discusses "how small actions lead to big outcomes." At a time like this, we don't need leaders who "check out."

Read for yourself what Nilofer has to offer.

1 comment:

Jeremy said...

Very important topic. Something that we need to be focusing on is how this new access to information can be a negative. I noticed this kind of thing going on during fire briefings and during times were communication needs to be solid, not distacted. Another skill for a leader to work on: how to utlize and work with these new tools with out making us less aware!