The primary reason being to create space or a clearing in the wilderness of corporate life where people can do their best work. 'A place where employees can commit to partnering with the leader in what is being created.
That creation can be anything from improving processes, delivering more products and services with lower costs, to reinvention of the organization. ‘Whatever is the focus of achievement.
I’ve written about words and phrases to stop using, having a leadership style so fluid and situational that there is no style, and giving permission to teams to truly own their work and fully engage in an open, risk tolerant, positive work environment. For all of these pieces to produce authentic, amazing results requires the leader to lead themselves, keep their egos in check, put their personal agendas and feelings aside.
Since leaders are humans too, make mistakes, care what others think, want success, and are every bit as jacked up and emotional as every other human on the planet, how can they effectively lead. Research indicates a great lack of leadership, disengagement, and lower productivity. Most employees leave a company because of their leader. It would seem leaders largely can't lead.
Face it, all leaders have been in the state of not being able to rise above and be an ideal leader, have presence, and do what they tell you in management class. There is no shame in crashing and burning from time to time.
Rumi wrote, “The wound is a place where the Light enters you,"
From the ashes and wreckage what seems to be a leadership failure of epic proportions can come understanding, reinvention, and authentically stronger leadership traits. What's crazy is that every leader who is honest with themselves has had, or is in, their flame out yet we are so reluctant to talk about them, learn from them, and grow in skill and character.
Instead we blame others, the situation, complain about the incompetence of others, or chalk it up to a bad day, month, year, or company.
Every time leaders refuse to take responsibility, we make the space smaller for the team. Notice the word is take responsibility, not accept. Accepting responsibility is like saying sorry after you've be found out when you had ample to time to confess. It's hollow and unsatisfying for everyone.
To take advantage of your leadership train wreaks and make more productive, healthy, and engaging space for yourself and your team, try this out this practice.
Own Your Thoughts, Feelings, Words and Actions.
No one can make you feel or do anything. Stop blaming others, lunch, or the dog for your thoughts, feelings, words, and actions. Realize your power over you and take responsibility for ripple effects. Unforeseen or unintended consequences occur? Do the right thing, take responsibility, fix it, and forgive...everyone and everything including yourself.
Notice Your Feelings, Their Triggers, and How They Occur to You
What physically and emotionally is happening when you get angry, annoyed, want to impress, or want to be liked? Actions don't just happen, they build from something. Noticing these emotional storms coming. As you notice you can choose.
Respond From You, The Way You Want To Be
It's easy to react from stimuli like, stress, fear, desire, need to be liked, need to feel respected, boredom, and anger. It takes great strength and courage to respond based on your core beliefs and priorities, especially in the face of what seems like great provocation.
Take it from someone who has crashed and burned many times. There is a gift in the wreckage if you choose to dig through the debris and find it. The reward is organizations that accomplish amazing things.
Gandhi said, "Happiness is when thoughts, words, and actions are in harmony."
It takes practice without end.
What are your thoughts?