I will be writing all week about the book Lovemarks: The Future Beyond Brands, and what we can learn about management and leadership.
Author Kevin Roberts writes a lot about the importance of THE EDGE. Here are a few choice quotes from the book:
"The edge gives us a special attitude. Cutting edge, leading edge, bleeding edge, the edge of inspiration, on the edge of our seats. The edge is exciting and risky and extreme. Great ideas can come from anywhere, but most of them turn up on the edge."
"Great ideas, like humor, come from the corners of the mind, out on the edge."
"Go to the edge. Everyone at the center thinks the same way. That's why they ended up there in the first place."
The edge is where it is at in marketing...in life...in management. Most people don't associate management, especially middle management, with being on the edge.
If you believe, as I do, that a manager's job is to create value, connection, and results BEYOND what would without him or her, then great management needs to tap into the creative juices found at the edge. The elements of a love connection - mystery, intimacy, and sensuality - are enlivened by being out on the edge.
But what does management on the edge look like? How do we know when we are or are not there? Here are a few indications that you might be managing from the edge (there are certainly many more, too):
- Your team members ask uncommonly provocative and powerful questions that turn meetings on end.
- You've turned over control - really.
- Love and intimacy are a central part of your management practice.
- Working for you is an adventure; an experience that demands heightened engagement.
- You have a profound sense of attachment to your work while being flexible and open to exploring new ideas and looking under the hood to find the magic carpet.
- You always tell the truth and admit mistakes. Love cannot happen without trust.
- You can key into design elements of your management.
- You experience work on a visceral - sensual - level.
- You have no patience for management fads. No interest in management commodities.
An amazing quote from Lovemarks:
"Inspiration creates action. It is not about hierarchy, strategy, structure, or systems. It's about every individual in an organization exceeding their personal best in pursuit of a unifying theme. People who have the courage to be inspired and to inspire others with such a dream are inspirational players. Together, inspirational players everywhere stand for nothing is impossible."
Happy Valentine's Day! Be in love with your work!
It is a privilege to manage. Really, think about it. You have been handed a piece of the business to run. What a rush! You are amazingly talented and have the opportunity to drive the business forward. There is nothing more mysterious and sensual than this.
(Secret confession: There is a part of me that longs for the opportunity to go back into a corporation and lead a team again. I love what I do, but I also get a charge out of being a manager and leader and improving the business. It's a special job!)