‘Disrupt to Lead’ as a game-changer and not ‘Differentiate or Die’ as goal-chaser

I can sense the beginning of an end for good old way of doing things in all that we do or attempt to do in pursuit of personal and professional excellence and can even see the signs of something really different happening all around in several parts of the world.

That which is happening is not just because I have started to see the world from a different perspective. The world in itself is changing. In fact it is adorning itself with a persona of a different kind, so much that a different perspective becomes inevitable to see it through a microcosm of difference that you can afford to ignore.

Most of us seem untouched by or rather unaware that many things are going through change and a world with an order quite unusual or disruptive with reasons to believe it fast happening around of us.

Take for example how the education system is changing in many countries as we have more or less developed an approach that manufactures people onto becoming job hopping machines.

Look at the current system.

Kids are made to follow certain norms, watch most of the time the teachers in silence, do everything in unison like wearing uniform, and give an exam to prove that they actually have absorbed what has been taught or at least that they know their books well.

Why should they and for how long will they be doing all of these or is this the way?

Fortunately the educative paradigms and pedagogical dynamics seem to be changing or even evolving from being a mere art of cognitive learning to an experiential knowledge and behavioral science.

Somewhere at some part of the world there are a few who are working to rethink the old model with concepts such as homeschooling, unschooling, hackshooling, testless learning etc .

We can see changes happening to our employment model too. People seem can’t stand the current employment thinking anymore. Neither can I. We are reaching our limits and even crossing boundaries. Lot many including those employed for so called big brand labels can’t stand anymore the kind of jobs they do. Lack of purpose and direction knocks them inside out and down. Result: A part of you wants to be and a part doesn’t. Eventually you just desperately want out.

The rate at which many are even willing to risk entrepreneurship is a testimony to this kind of a career illusion. I see many leaving on sabbaticals, and with depression of work-life imbalance, those with aspirations turned loans that haunt them that they give up personal freedom to grow up and certainly left with burnout at the end.

The entrepreneurship style too is also changing. Look at the explosion of startups over the years with many thousand being bitten by this bug wanting to turn their little garages into offices and occupying cubical shared presence in order to make billions out of their out of the box ideas. Somewhat like an invasion by many into this territory is mostly ends in search of an investor to get funded to stay floated.

You need to be funded to be existent and looks as though not necessarily even be doing business or seen to be growing. To be funded is the goal that you chase and when you secure to accomplish, its almost like a feeling of winning an election of a state and coming to power.

Funded. What next then?

You probably get back to being an employee. You may have had those colleagues not sharing your dream, not in synergy with your purpose may be dreaming to chase their own dreams. Again it’s about money. The means to meet the financial end become the key drivers of the business and eventually people are made to suffer with that end as their beginning. Amazing startups fall including interesting enough to see even the mighty ones in the same trap since the money chasing model has no loop to close ever.

But I do see much of purpose driven enterprising and disruptive thinking in many. Its really inspiring to see professional turned farmers to those all time money chasers even go on to becoming social change makers.

Look at the the world of big businesses. There seems a lot of effort on what is called as differentiation there. I strongly believe that a mere differentiation is not disruption probably widely mistaken for. The difference between meaningful deep change and superficial novelty is mistaken by even successful entrepreneurs or large businesses. So what we see is an excess of similar offerings mostly of all claiming to be different and gaining to have an edge over their peers by making incremental changes to the existing offerings. Many seem to be doing so as it conveniently suits them with their existing business model.

These guys aren’t for newer things that will compete with their own old ones as they tend to become complacent with the incremental changes to their existing businesses. This means they naturally stop innovating in the real sense of disruption. Or rather they are adopting a differentiating innovation instead of disruptive one. It is only when the business audience moves on to a new offering that nobody saw coming from a competing peer that they probably realize that disruptive risks are key to staying relevant. But by then it may be too late for the very realization itself, forget innovation of any kind.

Those who merely adopt incremental innovation will no doubt differentiate themselves. The question is will they really remain in relevance to stay connected to the evolving needs and times?

You have to be prepared to make bold moves consistently even at the very peak of your success. These bold moves come out of horizontal triggers and not out of conventional skills mastered for vertical growth the reason why they can create game changers and impact makers. It’s not about differentiate to grow to the top or die rather disrupt to lead as game changer and impact maker which is not vertical, it is mostly multi-dimensional and multi-directional.

This is why leaders of today and of the days ahead are equally required to be multi-dimensional and multi-directional, and not mere vertical differentiators. The future is going to be about leaders born out of horizontal triggers with disruptive thinking and innovating traits that are multi-dimensional and multi-directional.

Horizontal leadership as a new age thinking is all set to become a disruptive movement in itself to break the barriers of vertical growth and make everyone believe that they can actually do something extraordinary. The need to encourage everyone to become an impact maker in a unique way is the new direction for something extraordinary to happen. It’s happening already in education, employment and entrepreneurship. The world is fast embracing the power of disruptive thinking and changing its persona in far too many ways than we could actually believe.

 

The author is Jhon Arokiasamy,  founder and leadership strategist at Persona

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Do Not be pushed to the corner nor at the centre.
To win as a Leader, Maneuver in all directions and create space for battle.
Focus and strike at your polarity to gain majority.

| Jhon Arokiasamy |

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