I remember the arrival of the books, In Search of Excellence and The One Minute Manager. Tom Peters and Ken Blanchard at one point ruled the world of management and leadership.
I remember reading The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People when it was hot off the presses. Stephen Covey and mission statements also captured the attention of the business world.
I even remember the arrival of re-engineering, TQM, CQI, six sigma, lean manufacturing, and Kaizen. Every one of these concepts were wildly embraced by many people.
Wave upon wave, I have watched best seller, red hot solutions arrive, cool off, and for some even fade away.
From Who Moved My Cheese? to Sacred Cows Make The Best Burgers, I have seen my share of books and ideas come and go, too.
What intrigues me this week is that underneath all of these hot and fast selling perspectives is a fundamental paradigm shift. At the heart, it is a simple one, namely that more and more people want to move away from reactive leading and managing, and instead move into a more proactive form of management and leadership.
While I recognize that there will always be new and better ways, the key for me is that all roads still lead to the same end goal, namely a life at work and at home that is engaging, healthy and fully aligned with what we believe.
Our challenge this week and this coming fall is to consciously choose systems which support this paradigm shift toward a more proactive form of leadership in a thoughtful and consistent manner. Just remember: many roads, same destination.