#Leadertarians is a book and a vision -peculiar and biased- about how technology is impacting human relationships and social organisation methods in this, the impetuous 21st century. It’s a vision of how management, leadership and corporate culture will be transformed in order to face this new reality. The book was first published in 2015 in Spanish by Planeta and is also available to download in English online. It’s a lively, optimist, humanist and emotional book, which showcases ideas and actions that were implemented to help Good Rebels -a digital services company re- founded in 2009- grow from 5 to more than 100 co-workers in 5 years.
#Leadertarians (#Lidertarios) is a book and a vision -peculiar and
biased- about how technology is impacting human relationships and
social organisation methods in this, the impetuous 21st century. It’s a vision
of how management, leadership and corporate culture will be transformed in
order to face this new reality. The book was first published in 2015 in Spanish by
Planeta and is also available to download in English online. It’s a lively, optimist,
humanist and emotional book, which showcases ideas and actions that were
implemented to help Good Rebels -a digital services company re-founded in
2009- grow from 5 to more than 100 co-workers in 5 years.
The following manifesto reﬂects the essence
of this vision in 20 theses. 20.
STRATEGY IS OVERRATED1.
In order to permanently create value for
people and society, companies will be
under frenetic pressure in the search for
Entry barriers are reduced, and in the digital
age it is even easier to copy and emulate and
to improve products, knowledge and services.
Everything is changing too fast and we can’t
take months to develop, launch and reﬂect. In
this context, the long-term that deﬁnes
strategy is losing value.
Too many decisions, too much uncertainty.
We need leadership more than ever, because
leaders helps us to answer the why’s and to
visualise promised lands. Let’s leave the what’s
for the end. In a changing environment, the
what’s have answers that mutate over time.
Survival implies evolution, and the what’s
change. We will have to invest in deﬁning and
spreading our vision. Taking time from our
schedules and talking about the vision,
deﬁning it and refuting it.
THE AGE OF WHY’S2.
Individuals are donning super powers. This is
why our mission’s essence ﬁts into two words:
people ﬁrst. Good Rebels’ objective is to help
companies to put people—co-workers, business
partners, providers, clients—ﬁrst. It sounds more
and more like the “social company ” is a valid
model for an economic setting where consumption
is not expected to grow like it did before, where
consumers and citizens, now digitally empowered,
tend to prize companies higher that work on
creating “shared value” with society.
THE POWER OF INTRINSIC MOTIVATION 4.
Keep talent and foster innovation.
Companies that seek to foment this
“entrepreneurial” culture: establish a vision, a
place in the world; 2) encourage personal and
professional development, and 3) give their co-
workers authority to make their own decisions
and to develop their own ideas within the
context of the collective mission. These three
axes create intrinsic motivation, which is the
most powerful, since it comes from the inside out.
RELEVANT, UNIQUE, ASPIRATIONAL5.
Creating a unique company has a reward. It
helps to charge more for our products or services
and to obtain better proﬁtability. It naturally
attracts talent. We create an aspirational project,
wherein people want to work and with which
clients and other companies also want to work.
And it mentally enables its workers to pursue the
impossible: “If we don’t do it, then who will?” KPIs
that go beyond number of employees, turnover
or proﬁt: it’s about creating a company that
people want to exist.
INNOVATION TROUGH ENGAGEMENT6.
If we’ve established an internal culture that
promotes intrinsic motivation, we’re
increasing employee engagement. Co-workers
in turn will make greater efforts to innovate. By
using digital tools that make it easier to
collaborate and decentralise processes, we
foster connections within the organisation,
accelerating the speed of innovation. And if we
make corporate barriers more porous, we will be
able to open our innovative processes to
providers, partners, clients or society as a whole.
FAIL OFTEN, FAIL QUICK, FAIL CHEAP7.
The Just in Time philosophy was established in
Toyota’s factories back in the 70s. But the “lean”
mantra has now permeated in kind of business
disciplines. It has inspired scrum software
development methodologies, startup innovation
and even marketing. Digitalisation is changing the
rules of the game and imposing new
procedures. Companies should learn how to
incorporate immediate trial and error
methodologies: data collection, analysis,
correction, action,... We should learn to fail agilely,
quickly and efﬁciently.
THE OPEN ORGANISATION8.
Becoming a platform makes it possible to have
robust, rapid growth. Just as with social
networks, once a critical mass has been
generated it is hard to oust a network’s
predominance because its members have
invested a lot of time to create their node and
establish connections with other nodes. A
networked company is better prepared for our
ﬂuid reality. Many P2P-economy or collaborative
projects, such as AirB’n’B or Uber, are working to
become the playing board whereupon
participants carry out their economic activity.
COLLECTIVE INTELLIGENCE AND
An entity isn’t digital because it communicates
via the web, follows inﬂuencers on Social
Media or has streaming conferences. It is,
because it thinks globally like a distributed
intelligence and because it acts, internally, as a
networked community of practice. Our experience
tells us that less-centralised management of 2.0
knowledge accelerates learning and access to
experts. Decentralised organisation will reduce
unnecessary bureaucracy that keeps order, but
limits freedom while creating frustration.
A sense of belonging is reciprocal. I feel like a
part of a project, while I also feel that the project is
partially mine. We must ﬁght to remove borders, so
often imposed by our own words (owners,
employees, directors, departments, ...). Putting
people at the center also means raising awareness
about the common good. Educating people about
mundane common goods (kitchen, toilets or
basic administrative processes) helps treasure
more valuable ones:
building methodologies, sharing knowledge,
helping each other out.
CULTURE AS A COMPETITIVE BARRIER11.
Corporate culture is deﬁned as the principles,
beliefs, standards and habits, not necessarily in
writing, that are shared and transmitted
between the members of an organisation.
Manuals say that the type of culture doesn’t
necessarily have to be better or worse in search of
company success. What is injurious is for culture
not to exist, or for it to be weak. The lack of
consistency in action is what can place an
organisation in danger. A strong culture is a
characteristic feature of outstanding companies.
GOOD PEOPLE AND GOOD PROFESSIONALS12.
If a person is good-hearted they’ll want to work
with good-hearted people. And if a person is
intelligent, they want to be surrounded by intelligent
people. In order to create high performance teams,
kindness and above average technical skills and/
or intelligence are the two main criteria when hiring
(and ﬁring) people. A lack of solidarity or evil is
normally quickly diagnosed by colleagues. At this
point, the greatest challenge is not allowing a
brilliant effort to prevent a swift dismissal.
AUTONOMY AND RESPONSIBILITY13.
A cooperative community works on providing
sovereignty of action to its members. This
means absolute transparency and open access
to the information necessary to make decisions.
But it also implies self-demand, being demanding
with ourselves before others. If we demand from
ourselves, we will have the authority to demand
from others. Let’s be self-critical and non-
conformist, investing our vital energy, putting our
nose to the grindstone to improve what we dislike
and can be improved.
Absolute ﬁnancial transparency, a decrease in
salary differences and privileges between
directors and non-executive workers,
telecommuting, a reduction in standards and
procedures, consensus on tactical and even
strategic decisions, voting on the physical
site… In short, democracy is seeping through the
walls of the company. Hierarchy stiﬂes
innovation. Co-workers should be treated as
adults. In return, they give commitment, passion
and enthusiasm. A boss can order someone to do
a task, but it isn’t so easy to “impose” commitment.
Eradicating paternalism builds resilient
companies. Making all available information
accessible to the public, without those affected
making decisions, encourages individual
responsibility. It empowers people to organise
without a need for formal, alienating structures,
whether they are omnipotent states, obese
companies or public or private entities that forgot
their humanist task. Granting co-workers absolute
access to information allows them to make
decisions on their own.
Sometimes we adopt, and sometimes we
adapt. Sometimes we follow, sometimes we
lead. A shared leadership is neither heroic nor
elitist. In their facet as temporary leader, each
member of a cooperative community has a
decisive inﬂuence and generates a global
result. Every leader needs a community: to inspire
them, to encourage them, to correct them, and to
make them stronger. Every community needs
leaders. The more, the better.
In an environment that encourages
conversation supported by digital tools that
multiply contact points and fragment the
message, without ruling hierarchies that prioritise
messages sent form the top down, the leader-
teacher must accept that they will have to repeat
concepts time and time again, to create a light rain
that gently soaks through. Internal communications
are a responsibility that lies with each member of
the organization. We need more asynchronous
communication (more writing). And to provide
each other with more constructive feedback.
ART AND SCIENCE18.
The science of information and the art of
communication. Separated sides of the brain, or
innate capabilities? Our decisions are emotional
(not supported by logical reasoning) on more
occasions than we would like to admit. The 20th
century, the century of technique and efﬁciency,
was dominated by professionals trained with MBA
programmes, and now the 21st century in turn will
demand a new sort of professional, with more
creative skills. A leadertarian needs to combine
logic and magic in the same brain.
MORE HUMBLENESS, LESS HUBRIS19.
Overweening pride leads to rejection and
isolation. A leader who doesn’t listen or admit
their weaknesses ends up on their own. What has
gotten us this far may not take us over there.
Self-sufﬁciency kills one’s desire to improve.
Failing several times before reaping a success
helps us to weigh the conﬂuence of context and
chance. Playing down failure and success is a
way to ﬁght hubris, the mixed mental state of
pride and vanity that drove the Greek heroes to
go too far in their victory.
THE NEED FOR "PROFESSIONAL LOVE"20.
Strategy is always very hard (markets,
products, proﬁtability, promotion,
productivity...) when we are in a time that so
desperately needs soft concepts. Traditional
values such as family and religion have fallen out
of use in Western societies. We need affection
and recognition more than ever. At companies,
we get bored always talking about productivity,
competitiveness, efﬁcacy, positioning and
differential advantages. We want a bit more
feeling, fun and affection. We want more love
during our working hours.
Creating intrapeneurs in the digital age
PlanetadeLibros Gestión 2000
Behind the #leadertarians movement you’ll
ﬁnd technological humanism compelling us to strive for a
world improved by digital technologies. The book
goes beyond the what's, explaining the why’s and how’s for
companies seeking to survive the most exciting century of
humankind history so far. And to take care of their co-workers
happiness during the journey.
The #leadertarians vision goes beyond traditional
management, and takes advantage of the digital tools
and state of mind to implement a new kind of leadership.
The book also tells a story of overcoming emotional struggles,
that of a family of entrepreneurs who reinvented themselves
and build a successful business case.
For Spanish copies
Together, brothers Fernando (@abladias) and
Juan Luis Polo (@juanluispolo) accrue quite a few
years of experience in the digital world. In 2009,
Territorio creativo, the company founded by Juan Luis
and Mari Cruz Polo, was re-founded as a social media
agency and consultancy. After merging with a UK-
based social business consultancy the company was
renamed as Good Rebels. Today it operates in 6
countries and is powered by more than 130 co-
workers, who help big organisations operate in this
new digital world. Fernando and Juan Luis are also
professors at different business schools and frequent
speakers at professional events. Their first
book #Socialholic: Everything you need to know about
social media marketing, was published in Spanish by
Planeta in 2011, and in Portuguese by Senac in 2013.
goodrebels.com • @GoodRebels
Barcelona • Bogotá • Brighton • Ciudad de México • Lima • Madrid
A world powered by people