Monday, February 6, 2017

What Is Liquid Leadership?

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Photo Credit: Shutterstock: Jirsak. ID: 376175704

Last month I received an alert about an article that bore my name in the French newspaper Les Echos. In the Business section reporter Valerie Landrieu grabbed me with the headline (I have translated the best I could for the non French speaking audience): 

A New Measurement Tool
for Business Acceleration

The article breaks down a growing trend; global executive search firm Heidrick & Struggles worked diligently to diagnose the key vectors of success from twenty-three elite companies. These factors they discovered are the difference between uber-success and mediocrity in today's shifting economic environments. 

Heidrick & Struggles took their findings and developed people management software that may rival Accenture and Atlassian, when it comes to productivity...but can we measure what we thought was un-measurable; human engagement? 

Valerie looked past the software, bringing us back to the human question, and the quote that grabbed my attention:

H&S created a tool to increase the speed and productivity of a management team(s).
But, are their members leaders?

In short: do they know how to shape strategy, inspire and influence at every level of the company? Do they exercise "liquid leadership"?

The latter concept, borrowed from management consultant Brad Szollose, describes the ability to execute the strategy by reducing the complexity of the environment and by freeing the structures to set up a team(s) ability to be successful.

Click here to buy Liquid Leadership...
The French to English translation may not be perfect, but I am glad to see that someone has been reading my work;-) Thank you Mrs. Landrieu.

On another note, it is something I mention in a later chapter in Liquid Leadership; not only can technology now be used to measure machine productivity, but people as well. And it could get Orwellian if we are not careful.

The reason we MUST adapt to a new management style is because of 2 reasons; people have changed dramatically—from generation to generation, each has different needs, wants and goals, along with technology giving smaller companies the ability to compete with larger ones. 

Figure out out to engage people in this day and age, and you shall be considered a genius.

So what does the term Liquid Leadership really mean? Here is MY definition:

Liquid Leadership is a fluid style of leadership that continuously sustains the flow of ideas (and productivity), within an organization in order to create and maximize opportunities in an ever-shifting marketplace.

Okay, that may sound like boring corporate-speak, but, we are facing an era of unprecedented change both domestically here in the United States and Canada, as well as globally in countries like China and Europe.  We can see it in the protests as one generation stands up, questioning the status quo, while another more seasoned generation may stand befuddled as to what is going on.

As people and technology keep shifting at a rapid pace, instead of clinging to old ways of doing things—command and control environments, hierarchy and advancement based on age, and using the same strategies our grandparents used—don't you think it's time to explore something new?

Time to move past the Myers-Briggs and DISC® movement and embrace the possibility that we need something that engages people at their core. These are great tools for hiring people and understanding personality conflicts, but what about tools that help us get people engaged, excited and increase productivity? True leadership will always have a need to understand, interact and inspire their people.

That part of business will always
require a 'human touch.'

They used to say "If you can't measure it, you can't manage it."...yet what we've started to realize is that the touchy-feely stuff is at its core the reason why people stay in an organization. 

Check out this article from WIRED Magazine:

WHY are Happy Employees 12% More Productive?

Now with all the software out there that can help you choose your winners, don't forget; this is about people. That means every hire, every employee evaluation, every promotion still requires human beings to be involved with other human beings.

This is a skill we can't just hand over to software. A skill that only a rare few have innately. And that skill is the ability to spot talent, motivate, engage and inspire others, simply by their presence.

You've met a person or two like that in your business life.

They are rare indeed...

Now I am not delusional; some things in business will never change, but Liquid Leadership gives you the tools to adapt your leadership style for an ever-shifting world.



Brad Szollose
Global Management Consultant
Cross Generational Leadership Development & Workforce Performance Strategies
Executive Coach

Brad Szollose (pronounced zolis), is a globally recognized Management Consultant and the foremost authority on Millennials and Cross-Generational Leadership Development Strategies.

Listen to David Burkus intervew Brad Szollose on How To Manage Millennials...
TEDX Speaker, Web pioneer and the author of the award-winning, bestseller Liquid Leadership: From Woodstock to Wikipedia, Brad is a former C-level executive of a publicly traded company that he cofounded that went from entrepreneurial start-up to IPO in three years; the first Dot Com Agency to go public on NASDAQ. His company K2 Design, experienced 425% hyper-growth, due in part to a unique management style that won his company the Arthur Andersen NY Enterprise Award for Best Practices in Fostering Innovation.
Today the world’s leading business publications seek out Brad’s insights on Millennials, and he has been featured in Forbes, Inc., The Huffington Post, New York Magazine, Inc., Advertising Age, The International Business Times, and The Hindu BusinessLine to name a few, along with television, radio and podcast appearances on CBS and other media outlets. 

Brad's programs have transformed a new generation of business leaders, helping them maximize their corporate culture, expectations, productivity, and sales growth in The Information Age. 


Pick Up Brad's books...Liquid Leadership and the latest...

Journeys to Success: The Millennial Edition. 

#1 Bestseller on Amazon in Hot New Releases!!!

Click here for Brad Szollose Author Page on Amazon...

Brad Szollose Bio:


Who Is Brad Szollose?: 

Cofounder of Another Big Production. Host of Awakened Nation™. Award-Winning Author. Creative Director. Leader. Visionary. TEDxSpeaker. Web Pioneer. C-Level Executive.

First things, first. How do you say Szollose?
It’s pronounced zol-us.

From founding partner and CMO of K2 Design, Inc. the first Digital Agency to go public on NASDAQ to international leadership development expert, Brad Szollose has worked with household names like MasterCard, American Management Association and Tony Robbins, to create leadership training programs for a new generation.

As an award-winning creative director, he has been the creative force behind hundreds of high-end corporate events, personal and consumer brands, and website launches. Brad is the recipient of the Corporate Identity Design Award and the Axiom Business Book Award along with various awards for website and print design.

As a C-Level executive at K2, his unique management model was awarded the Arthur Andersen New York Enterprise Award for Best Practices in Fostering Innovation Amongst Employees (Workforce Culture).

Today, the world’s leading business publications seek out Brad’s insights on next-generation leadership development, branding and modern Management Strategies, and he has been featured (both print and online versions) in Forbes, Inc., Advertising Age, USA Today, New York Magazine, The Huffington Post, International Business Times, Le Journal du Dimanche (France), and The Hindu Business Line to name a few, along with television, radio and podcast appearances on CGTN America, CBS, Roku Network and other media outlets.

Brad continues to challenge the status quo with his new book, Liquid Leadership 2.0, and his new podcast, Awakened Nation.

After 35 years in New York City, he now calls Las Vegas home. In his free time, he enjoys hiking in the mountains, working Star Trek and Dune quotes into everyday conversation, and painting and drawing the stunning landscapes of the American Southwest.