Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Cookie Cutter Leadership

Cookie Cutter leadership is an oxymoron....it cannot actually ever happen.
In a world where leadership means everything, companies (especially retailers) are working very hard to create recipes that allow for little creativity and leadership skill.  The role of a leader in this environment is to implement the plan.....and to the letter, without straying....or you will find yourself looking for a new cookbook.

Why is that?
Well - it is easier to make sure everything looks the same, the same standards, the same visual representation, the same processes.  I can tell you that some of this makes sense - especially in the process area where a great deal of time and money has surely been spent so that best practices can be implemented across the board to create efficiencies.

I do have issue with the confusion of leadership with management.  If you are following the recipe, then you are really simply managing.

Leading is visionary.  It is about taking risks.  It is about empowering others and developing leaders around you.  It is about seeing the trends and being ready for them or getting out ahead of them.  Leading is the relentless pursuit of excellence.

Managing is checking the boxes.  Making sure the to do lists are done.  Following the system and not deviating, no risks allowed.  Managing is maintaining the status quo.

Think about yourself.  Are you the cookie cutter? Or the one who breaks the mould?

1 comment:

Marc Zazeela said...

Indeed, it is an oxymoron.

Good leaders are creative and innovative. Cookie cutter solutions are the complete opposite. Sadly, we the consumer, are often the focus of cookie cutter thinking.