SYSTEMS—Structure Frees the Mind to Be Creative

Chapter 7 Pg’s 161-162 Lead With Love By: Gerry Czarnecki

In all the previous chapters, the focus has been primarily on activities the leader executes and how they directly impact staff behaviors and, ultimately, the unit’s performance. In this chapter, the focus is on the unit, how it performs its role, and, most important, what the leader must do to structure the activities of the unit as a whole. The word systems  is used to describe all of the structure the leader establishes to assure the unit achieves peak performance. In the field of biology, scientists refer to ecosystems” to describe the connected workings of the environment and the interactions of the organisms living within that environment; in information technology, analysts refer to the program systems that control a computer; in medicine, doctors refer to the body’s various groupings, such as the nervous system, the digestive system, etc., where these systems define how the body handles the complex functions of life. In all of these, the common element is this: a variety of activities are coordinated in some way to accomplish a functional objective.

 In organizational leadership, systems are those structures that support the leader and provide assurance that the staff and other resources deployed to achieve organizational results are coordinated in a way that accomplishes the desired results. Without these systems, or processes, the workplace would be in chaos. The organization’s structure and processes support effective leadership in the achievement of peak performance. These “systems” are an essential principle for the effective leader, and the effective leader must be capable of coupling behavioral skills with process disciplines in order to achieve peak performance. Further, these systems must be built with a keen sense of the role that love plays in leading. The loving leader cannot allow the systems to dehumanize the associates. We as leaders must always remember that these are humans we are leading, not machines.

 In the very early days of Frederick Taylor and the emergence of “scientific management,” it was clear that most managers were attempting to create a workplace where the humans working there were trained and managed to replicate all tasks in a very mechanical and routine way. Even today, the average worker is expected to do repetitive tasks in a manner that replicates the best practice. When we as leaders focus on the concept of replication and repetition, we must never forget that our staff leaves to live life as a member of society, that a staff member does not get turned o” at the end of a day as if a machine.

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