In the transition from the industrial age to the age of knowledge work, the relationship between employees and their organization changes fundamentally. Dependent workers increasingly become independent knowledge workers who carry their means of production in their heads. The organization is therefore more dependent on knowledge workers than vice versa. In this transition, the network replaces the hierarchy as the leading organizational principle. Leadership is therefore no longer based on subordination and obedience, but now aims at the self-leadership of the people entrusted to it.
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.”