Hard Work—Not Directly Relevant

It's about effectiveness—not effort-even though effectiveness is harder to assess than effort. We don't measure people by how many evenings or weekends they are in their cube. We do try to measure people by how much, how quickly and how well they get work done—especially under deadline ... Flexibility is More Important than Efficiency in the Long Term.[1]

Transformational Leaders inspire extraordinary pursuits by giving people the courage to fail. I tell my students at the beginning of every semester 'if you aim high in your project you might fail to get there, but if you fail, you pass.'

Art Not Science

For Ackoff, leadership is closer connected to art than it is to science, because art inspires, and allows people to imagine things. Art provides inspiration and connects us with beauty, which in turn inspires us to seek for more beauty. Art also entertains and opens into us windows for new possibilities. This is also the main role of leadership, to inspire individuals into believing in themselves, into believing that they can always transcend their latest achievement. Transformational leaders understand that within each individual resides in enormous possibility, and they set out to release it. Transformational leaders have the courage to lead in times of change and transformation, and the courage inspires courage in others.

Giving people the ability to dream about a better future takes more than persuasion. It requires the ability to open people's imagination to a new realm of possibility, and to empower them to get there. What better way to get people to engage in the search of possibility then to inspire them to participate on a transformational journey, in pursuit of long-term ideal objectives? Articulating long-term ideal objectives, and visions for the future is a product of the creative mind, which makes strategy an artifact of art. And this makes those leaders who create them artists.

In the next two chapters, my collaborator Carl Hastrich explores the influential leaders who built visionary enterprises, and attempts to define the desired leadership qualities for the future of the behavior economy.

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  • [1] Netflix (2009). Netflix Culture: Freedom & Responsibility. Available at: http://www.slideshare.net/reed2001/culture-1798664 (accessed: June 11, 2014).
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