Not Checks, but Purpose

This video montage was made from a series of questions/answers on collaboration and management. It contains some vignettes and ideas that matter. Filmed during The Art of Management Conference (where Simon Sinek, Michael Eisner, Mitch Joel and Malcolm Gladwell and I were the 5 speakers), in November 2010, Toronto.


When I ask you to think Batman, you most likely think “the hero in the cape”.

But we forget how much the total ensemble that came together to create great outcomes. Carrying this analog into business, we must recognize we need heroes and hero enables  — the multipliers and magnifiers to make more value happen. Robin was the important side kick who helped Batman off the ground, Police Commissioner signaled the need and Alfred was the enabling leader by getting all the cool gadgets to make things awesome. All of us need to imagine our role in the room beyond the “heroic” moments by using the “Caped Crusaders” as a conceptual framework.


None of us can lead without having “beginners mind” at work; but as experts we often lose that. By allowing / enabling / having many people at the table lets us keep seeing things anew. Letting our people ask the questions they are thinking will help ALL of us to solve the tough problems of today.


Work failure is happening because we’re failing to deliver. Not because of one silo or function but because of the many gaps between the silos. “Mind the Gap”… has to become a new norm for our organizations. We have to stop organizing for the silos and organizing to achieve a purpose.


We all want to have our purpose called into work. People want to have their ideas heard, and come to work for more than a check. Purpose is the defining idea of the 21st century, and we need to reimagine how we organize/lead as a dominant principle.

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