The Leadership System

Reinventing Management and Leadership Systems

Daniel Edds

What is a Leadership System?

The Future of Leadership

A leadership system is simply the way key organizational resources interact to produce a desired purpose or outcome.

There are three parts to the system:

  1. Key organizational resources: a) people, b) money (in its broadest terms), and c) knowledge. Every organization has these resources.
  2. Interactions. These resources interact through rules, routines, and behaviors.
  3. Desired purpose or outcome. The system produces the outcome. If it is a designed system, the outcome is a desired one.

What Deming Said About Systems:

“The System Will Produce What It’s Capable of Producing”

Therefore, if the leadership system is not producing, CHANGE IT!

Why I wrote a Book on Leadership Systems

For twenty-five years I have been a full-time management consultant. Well-known agencies of local government, state government, healthcare, K-12 Education, Higher Education, and non-profits are my clients. During this time, I have seen every type of leadership and management system there is. Outside one or two, every leader I have worked with was well qualified to do their job. Yet outside a few, when I would work with their staff, they universally felt undervalued, unappreciated, and their voice unheard. For example, I had just finished a project with a large State agency. During my last meeting with the Deputy Director, she confessed, “you know, I don’t even tell my friends where I work anymore, it would be just too embarrassing.” This statement was a catalyst. It was not the first time I heard something like this, but it got me asking a question.

How do organizations that consistently perform at an elite level, not for a year or two or even three, but consistently year over year, approach the practice of leadership?

Instead of writing a book that looks at leadership as traits and attributes of the individual, I decided a different approach was necessary. The last time I checked, there were 197,000 titles on Amazon that took this approach. The world does not need another. Since most of us work in organizations, I wanted to look at how high impact organizations designed (or not) their leadership system. Especially those that consistently perform at high levels. What I discovered destroys traditional and contemporary beliefs about leadership as one person exercising power, authority, or influence over another. What I discovered is that they take a systems approach to leadership, and then train, coach, and mentor every individual leader to the requirements of their designed system.

Why Leadership and Management Systems are Failing

1) 67% Of all employees either just show up to work or they are actively sabotaging their workplace.
2) Half of all millennials are looking for a new job at any given point in time.
3) Two-thirds of first-time managers receive no training, coaching, or mentoring in leadership.
4) Those that do receive training, often discover they cannot implement what they learn because of intrenched systems of leadership already in place.
5) 70% Of employee engagement is based on the relationship with the manager.
6) Millennials are not interested in being followers. However, they are really interested in development.

Data like these leads George Clifton, Chairman of Gallup to conclude:

“The American leadership philosophy simply does not work anymore.” .

The Leadership System is the Future of Leadership

After researching organizations that consistently perform at an elite level, I have one overriding conclusion: by applying the principles of systems thinking to organizational leadership, we can generate unimaginable customer value, innovation, and transformation. I know this because I have seen it. My belief is that when you read the book, you will see it too.

My Mission

Leading a revolution to reinvent the practice of leadership

My Vision

To see the day when the engagement numbers for employees are flipped, 67% of the workforce is actively engaged with their work.

My Core Value

Leadership can be a designed organizational system.

My Work

I am transitioning my consulting practice to the design, development, and implementation of leadership systems to drive sustainable high-impact organizations.

Care to join me in this revolution? Let’s connect.