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Tuesday, June 2, 2015
Marcus Buckingham: The 2 Questions Every Leader Needs to Ask
It seems a little odd when Marcus Buckingham states emphatically that leadership is “going away.”
It’s quite a statement from a man who is billed as a leadership expert when being interviewed by Oprah or being quoted in numerous national publications. If leadership goes away, won’t Buckingham be out of a job?
Buckingham stands solidly behind his contention.
“I think we’ll see the word ‘leadership’ retired quite soon. It’s like the word ‘beauty’ that is used in women’s magazines. It’s just an ideal,” he says. “There’s no leadership. There are leaders. So please stop writing books and articles on what it takes to have the qualities of leadership. There’s no such thing. It just makes everyone a bit ridiculous.”
Buckingham, who co-wrote the best-selling “Now, Discover Your Strengths” in 2001, says that the leaders and organizations that embrace a strengths-based workplace are the ones that will be successful and will be the key to employee engagement and learning.
But while no one will dispute that team leaders are key to all of this, “the bizarre irony is that the tools we’ve built for learning and engagement aren’t for the team leader at all,” he says. “Our performance management systems and our employee engagement systems are built for HR and the organization.”
Fortunately, Buckingham says, employers are starting to realize that team leaders need tools geared to what they do every day and technology will soon be delivering the necessary help.
“The team leader has been burdened by a whole bunch of stuff that inhibits them from doing the very few things they should be doing,” Buckingham says.
In fact, Buckingham says a team leader’s most important task boils down to only two key questions a week that he or she should ask every team member: