As a decision maker and influence leader, do you stop to think about how you lead and what age you and your business operate under? Does the philosophy of that age influence your decisions when it comes to maximizing productivity and profitability in the 21st Century?

Today, leadership and team members are charged with doing more with less, while increasing efficiencies and productivity. History can no longer be a guide to future results. Old norms do not exist anymore.

Today’s new economic model and marketplace dictates unusual expertise, professionalism and possibility thinking and needs a holistic approach to leadership that ultimately leads to improved productivity, higher employee satisfaction and retention, better client relationships and increased profitability.

Leadership is an unending process that must be approached in a multi-disciplined way to achieve sustainable transformation and develop a focused, balanced and productive workforce where great communication skills are always practiced and where interpersonal skills and connections are emphasized. It doesn’t matter if you are a corporation setting policy and the vision for thousands of team members or if your team is comprised of one, the same rules apply.

The Iron Age

The Iron Age organizational structure and leadership style began about the time the Dark Ages ended in the 1700s. Typical of that era was a tight-fisted and controlling management style that lead to a lot of apathy, resentment and hostility between employer and employee; leader and follower. There was great fear by those at the bottom of the pecking order – consider the employer/employee relationship of Ebenezer Scrooge, a cold-hearted, tight-fisted greedy business leader and Bob Cratchit, his significantly underpaid clerk, abused by the poor working conditions and long hours.

The Iron Age style of management is still alive and well, rearing its subjectively destructive head in various industries and countries around the world which contributes to workplace turmoil, increased stress and chaos. In fact, the Newtonian based organizational chart given birth in the Iron Age is still being used by businesses, organizations and leaders today. It hasn’t changed in over four centuries. It is rule-bound disciplines for operating systems based on mathematics and physics and worked well up through the Industrial Age. But, what about now? Society has moved quickly through the Information Age right on into the “Feelings Age” yet the old organizational system is an anathema, stifles creativity, communication and connections so critical to a thriving business in the 21st Century.

Isn’t it time for a change – a change that creates a workplace environment where employees are engaged, encouraged and involved. Communication, it’s all about communication and connection. Communication is key in workplace balance for leaders and team members. Besides improving communications and connecting with employees, today’s leader need to reduce stress; increase productivity and enthusiasm among employees and can do just that through self-motivation and creativity techniques. When you create an environment where people are engaged, encouraged and involved, productivity and profitability increase.
Where are you? What era are you operating under? Perhaps it’s not the Iron Age at all but the Bronze Age or maybe you’ve stepped up to the Silver Age of leadership. Is there also a Golden Age and is that the optimum operating system for the 21st Century?

In the next issue you will find out just what happens in the Bronze Age of leadership and whether it is the ideal for today’s economy and marketplace.

However, no matter what the age, there are two basics that cannot be ignored – organization and focus. Leaders and team members need to be organized and focused so they don’t lose precious time and complete projects on time. Organization yields efficiency and focus yields productivity. This is one of the basic tenets of Engage, How to Lead with Power, Productivity and Promise. Leadership needs to ensure the workplace environment is organized and without energy-drainers in order to maximize focus and productivity. Eliminate the chaos, organize it and productivity will dramatically increase.

© Pat Heydlauff, all rights reserved 2011

Author's Bio: 

Pat Heydlauff speaks from experience. She works with organizations that want to create an environment where employees are engaged, encouraged and involved, and with people who want to be in control, anxiety-free and confident. She is the author of the forthcoming book, Engage, How to Lead with Power, Productivity and Promise and Feng Shui, So Easy a Child Can Do It and can be reached at 561-799-3443 or