Why Must There Be a "New Normal" for Leadership?

John Dyer published a very interesting book in September entitled The Façade of Excellence: Defining a New Normal of Leadership that challenges most conventional thoughts about leadership and its role within organizations. His book contends that leadership actually has many dimensions and several definitions, and it explores four different styles of leadership: The Crisis Leader, The Idea Gathering Leader, The Team Forming Leader, and The Empowerment Leader.

I spoke with John recently and asked him: “Why must there be a ‘new normal’ for leadership?” Here is his full response:

It has been nearly four decades since the NBC documentary “If Japan Can… Why Can’t We?” was first aired.  This program was a massive wake-up call and prompted the creation of initiatives such as Total Quality Management, Lean, and Six Sigma.  While some progress has been made, most organizations, especially outside of manufacturing, are still using old, outdated management practices such as fear, management by objectives, and hierarchical organizational structures.  
Recently, I asked on social media the question: “If you had one word to describe the main ingredient to sustain and expand an improvement initiative, what would it be?”  A word cloud was created to show the most popular results.
Take notice of the two largest words: Leadership and Commitment.  These were followed by: Culture and Buy-in.  You may also notice words like: Engagement, People, Communication, Trust, and Vision.  These are all words associated with questions such as:  “How do we improve our organization’s culture?  Why won’t my leaders fully and wholeheartedly commit to something that seems so obvious to many of us trying to make a difference?  What will it take to get my boss to fully buy-in to allowing teams of employees the opportunity to improve the way things are done (and at the same time, how do we get the employees to trust us and fully buy-in as well)?”

It is interesting that ‘Leadership’ and ‘Commitment’ had similar results.  This reminds me of the old joke that when making breakfast, the hen is involved but the pig is committed.  Commitment means completely tearing down all of the old ways and defining a new ‘normal’ of how things are done at every level within the organization.  Unfortunately, many managers think that it is sufficient to do the bare minimum and try to fake their way to achieving excellence.  They might allow a couple of teams to be formed (with no real authority to change anything) or spend some money on training (but not attending the classes themselves since they are so busy or it is beneath them) or ask their employees for ideas on how to improve (with little to no resources dedicated to implementing these ideas).  All they are doing is creating a flimsy façade of excellence that crumbles at the first sign of trouble. 

A new definition of leadership is required at all levels, from the Board of Directors to Executives to Supervisors.  My book builds the case for change and presents a step-by-step roadmap that leads to collaboration that will put your organization on the path toward achieving excellence.

What do you think of John's perspective? Do the management problems John details here exist in your organization?