How Do the Best Get Better?
The task of leadership is not to put greatness into people, but to elicit it, for the greatness is there already.
Since the original publication of this book in 1998, the workspace—indeed, much of the world—has been stood on its head. Oh, people (most of us, anyhow) still have jobs that produce income that allows us to sustain ourselves. But nearly all the terms of the deal have changed.
The old Protestant work ethic to which our parents and grandparents subscribed—the maxim that suggested that good things will happen to you if you keep your nose to the grindstone and your mouth closed—busted. The notion that, by definition, all work occurs within the confines of an employer’s workplace—gone. Loyalty and obedience to the organization—vamoose, along with job security and defined pension benefits. The bright line between personal and professional time and activities—completely blurred. The assumption that there must be something wrong with you if you are unemployed for more than a few weeks—forget it. The expectation that workers would receive training before starting a new job function—outsourced, eliminated, or relegated to do-it-yourself status.
In a nutshell, the game has changed in material ways. The rules are different, the field is bigger, the pace exponentially quicker, the goalposts narrower, shareholders less forgiving, and the talent is more elusive, cynical, and mercenary. An entire project or career can be launched ...