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For instance, a critical battlefield of war are streets of Islamic world where hatred of America seems to be rampant. As long as masses of people hate America, as long as they continue to see American government as actual terrorist, our nation cannot bring this war to a just conclusion. Clearly, this isn't a command-and-control issue. People cannot be ordered to stop hating. We have to employ asymmetrical leadership. We have to motivate them — in other words, we must set up, through a variety of means, environment in which they motivate themselves to become our allies, in which they make choice to work along side us as full partners in concluding war. It will take a long, superhuman, multifaceted endeavor, an endeavor that cannot succeed without our employing asymmetrical leadership.
Asymmetrical leadership is action-based: Businesses faced with rapid, global change have come to understand that motivation isn't what people think or feel but what they physically do. A key aspect of how asymmetrical leadership views motivation lies in first two letters of that word. Those letters — "mo" — are also found in words "motion," "momentum," "motor," "mobile," etc. The words denote action — physical action. To engage in asymmetrical leadership, leaders must constantly be challenging others to take specific physical action across all dimensions that leads to results.
Our motivating people who hate us to ultimately become our partners in peace will entail not our simply paying lip-service to such a partnership. We must undertake concrete actions that will begin to establish motivational environment. Asymmetrical leadership demands that we and "they" ultimately take action together to redress many social, political, and military wrongs that breed hatred.
Asymmetrical leadership is results-driven: Businesses have discovered that in order to succeed in asymmetrical markets, their leaders and employees must have a passion to achieve results. After all, people who simply take action are useless to a business. Only those people who get results are useful. This seems like a simple enough dictum; any leader will say that they have a passion to get results. But I have found out that what most leaders have a passion for, whether they know it or not, is engaging in tradition, linear, captain-to-mate-to-crew leadership — either because they know no other way of leading or because they are more comfortable being engaged in such leadership. For such leadership has a materially different focus than asymmetrical leadership. Traditional leadership focuses on activities that get results; whereas asymmetrical leadership focuses on results that get activities. When you are leading organizations in asymmetrical markets, you must not be wedded to activities but instead to results and only to those activities that achieve those results. This means that if activities are not getting results, you change them or eliminate them and institute new activities. In organizations run by traditional leadership, changing activities means changing status quo, a vastly difficult job.
For instance, to get results in asymmetrical markets, many businesses have had to eliminate those traditional activities that achieve results and engage in new, innovative ways. They had to break up their linear lines of reporting. They've had to reduce tiers of leadership, they've had to downsize their staffs and decentralize their functions, they've had to institute just-in-time inventory systems, they've had to cultivate capability of quickly formulating and disbanding results-focused teams — all with one aim in mind: to get more results, faster results, and "more, faster" on a continual basis. In short, they have had to become masters of asymmetrical leadership.
America's new war demands new leadership. We don't have to invent this leadership. It already exists. With emergence of new, global markets, a corresponding new vision of leadership has been emerging with some businesses. Asymmetrical leadership is being developed and applied in crucible of global business competition. It is very kind of leadership that can and must be applied to all multi-faceted endeavors of asymmetrical war.
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The author of 23 books, Brent Filson's recent books are, THE LEADERSHIP TALK: THE GREATEST LEADERSHIP TOOL and 101 WAYS TO GIVE GREAT LEADERSHIP TALKS. He is has been helping leaders of top companies worldwide get audacious results. Sign up for his free leadership e-zine and get a free white paper: "49 Ways To Turn Action Into Results," at www.actionleadership.com