Whoever sees organizations as machines and treats humans like cogwheels in them must not complain that people only work to the rule. Under these circumstances, more than working to the rule cannot be expected. Wherever people are used as resources, this is how they behave. People then develop their individual potentials in their leisure time – or fall short of their possibilities. Leadership can make a decisive difference for all sides. That is why the first thesis of the Manifesto for Human Leadership is: “Unleashing human potential over employing human resources.”
At a time when it is “normal that many things are changing and are changing more quickly than ever” (Karl-Heinz Geißler), the role of leadership must at least be discussed and in parts even questioned. Today Leadership is only legitimate if it has the self-leadership of the employees entrusted to it as its goal. Leadership is about making others successful. This human leadership is not a question of position, but of attitude. In this manifesto we describe this attitude and the values of a new, agile, digital, and above all human leadership.
The military is often cited as an example and blueprint for hierarchical organizations. With good reason, because in the course of industrialization, many companies were indeed inspired by the organization of the military. And quite a number of companies are still managed with command and order today. It is often forgotten that the military, especially in complex and ambiguous situations – and these are becoming more and more – has long been relying on the speed and effectiveness of autonomy and self-organization.
Management deals with the inanimate. It deals with numbers, processes and structures – leadership with the living, with people in their diversity and uniqueness. It is often neglected that leadership always refers first and foremost to the leader himself. And this self-management begins with the journey to oneself and the clarification of such essential questions as “What is my talent?”,”What gives me joy?” or “What does the world need from me?”.
There are more than enough leadership philosophies. Some of them are clear and understandable, others are rather a loose series of common catchwords. Since leadership has to do with people, leadership philosophies always provide insight into the respective conception of man. Sundar Pichai has found a very concise and positive philosophy for himself and Google, which should inspire many on the way to New Work: Leadership is about making others successful.