Every employer expects team members to be self-motivated. “If everyone just did their job, motivation would be irrelevant,” is the old adage. The problem is people are not machines. Their productivity and creative capacity waxes and wanes. Energy levels are different throughout any given day, week, and month. It is not enough to just say do it. The more enlightened, leadership-based approach calls on leaders to take an active responsibility in team performance.
The idea that leaders are the servants of those they lead has been around for centuries. It is ingrained in military leadership doctrine and for the last twenty or more years has gained traction in the business world. Servant leaders, as they were first termed by Robert Greenleaf in his 1971 essay, “The Servant as a Leader,” put the needs of those they lead first.
In October 2019, Google’s quantum computing team reported a breakthrough in quantum computing. Their newest system managed to complete a calculation in 3 minutes and 20 seconds that a traditional supercomputer would need 10,000 years to complete. Quantum Computers use quantum-mechanical phenomena such as superposition and entanglement to perform computations instead of electrically gated 1s and 0s in a traditional computer. Google’s experiment was one small step toward commercializing quantum technology and it raised the possibility of breakthroughs in a number of different fields such as artificial intelligence and engineering.
Minority Report was a science fiction story written by Philip Dick and adapted for the 2002 blockbuster film starring Tom Cruise. Imagining the world by year 2054, Philip Dick portrayed a government body with an ability to predict crimes before they happened, and the right to arrest individuals based on their potential of committing a “future crime.” When the movie hit theaters, the idea of predicting crimes seemed a preposterous notion, but science often makes the seemingly impossible, reality.
In The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin, he lists thirteen virtues “all that at that time occurr’d to me as necessary or desirable.”
Skills are assets, and they are how most people make a living. We go to school, learn a trade, acquire experiences and then give our time in exchange for money. The amount of money we earn for our time is most likely (but not always) a direct reflection of the “market value” of our skillsets—traditionally speaking. It’s true, “time is money,” but it makes just as much sense to say, “skills are money.” Luckily, obtaining a skill is quite simple in terms of cognitive processing. All one needs is motivation, the ability to learn, and time for practice.
What is “Tribal Leadership?”
After studying 24,000 people in more than two dozen organizations, three authors (David Logan, John King, and Halee Fischer-Wright) outlined some innovative, science-based leadership models. Their 2008 book, Tribal Leadership: Leveraging Natural Groups to Build a Thriving Organization, Logan et al., concluded that a company’s success depends on the strength of its “tribes.”
Charles Bolden, a former space shuttle commander and National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Administrator from 2009 to 2017, dreamed of being the first person on Mars when he checked in for astronaut training in 1980. At the time, NASA thought that a crewed Mars mission was thirty years away. Of course, we know now that prediction was overly optimistic.
At any given moment more than 100,000 people in the United States alone are awaiting an organ transplant, and more than a dozen people a day die while waiting for an available organ. There just are not enough donors to meet the demand for organs. It is a tragedy without a viable solution—until now.