The Mona Lisa is So Small!
Have you ever been to the Louvre in Paris?
There are those who visit the Louvre to revel in the brilliance of art. There are many, however, whose sole purpose is to rush through the first-floor entrance, plowing past the thirteenth-, fourteenth-, and fifteenth-century Italian paintings to remark out loud, “Wow, the Mona Lisa is so small.” They then proceed to the next Parisian tourist attraction like the Palais-Royal or the Panthéon, saying afterward to their friends, “Yes, I've been to the Louvre and have seen the Mona Lisa.”
Those who rush to view only the Mona Lisa at the Louvre are myopic and foolish and akin to much of what is going wrong with leadership today. The current state of leadership should make us fearful. We can't merely tick the box that states “Mona Lisa” and suggest that we've covered the art world. So which type are you? Do you visit the Louvre to prove you've seen the Mona Lisa? Or do you savor the experience of being present in the other galleries?
Mike Johnson once said, “The ability to engage employees, to make them work with our business, is going to be one of the greatest organizational battles of the coming ten years.”1 It's been nearly a decade since he penned those words in his 2004 book New Rules of Engagement: Life-Work Balance and Employee Commitment. They could have been written today—and perhaps in an even more urgent tone. Leadership models—of which there been many of late—have failed people and organizations. ...