Unlike the many cultural changes in the 1960s what we see going on today is probably more significant in terms of the pace of change. Perhaps we live in a frog-in-the-kettle world where everyone wears blue jeans, listens to rock music and supposedly is against the “system” or some system. All of these exterior, atmospheric indicators hide the fact that the next generations really have a value difference in some core cultural expectations. For instance, in leadership there is a desire for dialogue versus monologue.
What younger people seem to be saying is that they want to critique, deconstruct and immerse themselves in their places of work rather than simply be a drone that pragmatically works his or her way up the ladder. The work has to have meaning, not just be a means. Working to live is different than living to work.
What this means is that those of us in leadership–even at churches such as I am–must be willing to dialogue about not just what we do but why we do it. It’s easy in the business world to close out conversation and pull the paycheck card or pull rank. In my line of work I deal with volunteers so I for the most part lead my peers. It is vital to promote, create and personally engage in conversation. Five leadership principles that promote dialogue versus monologue:
- The reason your organization exists has to be a story you can talk about.
- The way you do things is better served when shaped by those you choose to do the work.
- Goals become more clarified when discussed rather than delineated.
- Morale is about appreciation and challenge which cannot happen in a vacuum of dialogue.
- Transparency is the open door to authenticity and authenticity just works!
Your thoughts? Anything to add or delete?