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Human-FORWARD Achievement: Leadership as Community Building

It is inarguable that Marc Andreesen is one of the best technologists, entrepreneurs and investors of the last 25 years. I recently listened to a podcast that featured Andreesen as a guest. In 3 hours of time, Andreesen could have talked about, literally, anything. This dude is wicked smart and learned in many areas. Interestingly, he spent the majority of the time talking about humanity in different conversational threads … head fake. Human systems, lack of effective leadership, manager failings, positive talent selection, adverse attraction, company virtues and culture, humanism, religion, community building and what it means to be human. More than A.I. and Web3 or blockchain or nuclear energy (all of which came up in related ways, oh by the way), the conversation kept coming back to people. Even in an era of unprecedented technological advancement, Andreesen is talking about people! Talent drives the bus, folks. I love it and I gladly bit on the head fake early on in the podcast as to what I thought might be topics of discussion! As I continue to learn and grow as I help others learn and grow, this conversation struck me as fascinating and incisively relevant to small to mid-sized organizational leaders. Humanity or human-FORWARD achievement should be top of mind for you too. People drive performance is a well settled axiom but how settled is your thinking about how to create more human-FORWARD achievement at your organization?

Have you ever considered that it could be you holding your organization back? It’s no secret ineffective leadership is detrimental to an organization. In the midst of this crucible of a new work world, it has never been more relevant for leaders to take a critical look at the energy they bring and pursue to calibrate it to human-FORWARD thinking. Show your teams your commitment to always learning, especially in this area. We all have room for better.

In your pursuit of better, you will help drive the organizational achievement you desire. When I think about leaders and teams forging community through human-FORWARD thinking, two examples of recent vintage come to mind:

  1. The Golden State Warriors’ NBA Championship- The indefatigable and uber-talented Steph Curry leading a make-the-extra-pass team that shares with and cares for each other as much as any professional team in history. Curry’s on the court and in the locker room leadership is on par with the very best we have seen. In addition, Steve Kerr created a culture that promotes psychological safety for players to be their true selves and offer insight and improvements that impact the greater good. Don’t forget, though, that they failed to make the playoffs the previous two years and were decimated by significant injuries over the last three seasons. Through those crucibles, the team developed next level players and tested new concepts to forge something new and better resulting in, possibly, their most satisfying championship yet … a human-FORWARD organization.

  2. A CEO friend of mine stared down adversity several times over the last 30 months and never shrank from the opportunity to create power WITH their team rather than power OVER their team. Specifically, they would utilize regular town halls and video messages/stories to keep connecting their decentralized team to the core message and priorities and help them feel cared for as a community. This resulted in employees feeling a little less anxious and fearful and a little more mission-focused and positive. A humanFORWARD approach in action to create strong community.

Let’s use the previous points for building communities through humanFORWARD thinking; the kind that drives organizational achievement by pouring into our best people.

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