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“No Clothes” Leadership

You and your people are busy, overwhelmed even. How come? There’s just so much to be done, you say, in order to grow. Of course there is. And yet, if we unpacked what busyness is for you, we might find:

  • That you’re addicted at some level to busyness = productivity = you being worthwhile as a person (I am. It’s a work in progress for me);
  • That you and your people don’t know how to say “No” in order to say “Yes” to the right things[1]; and,
  • That you’re all putting a lot of energy into covering up your weaknesses and managing other peoples’ impressions of you.

This energy you’re putting into having people see you at your best (productive, smart, helpful etc.) is costing your company big bucks. It’s costly to you on a personal level too. Sadly, not you, your people or your company will reach their potential when everyone is focused on “performing”.

What if there was another way?

What if a company did everything in its power to create a culture in which everyone could overcome their own internal barriers to change and use errors and vulnerabilities as prime opportunities for personal and company growth? Kegan and Lahey, An Everyone Culture

If it sounds like getting naked with your colleagues (metaphorically), it is.

The potential for transformation is profound.

For a company, it means going way beyond “performance” management and people development, like coaching and training, to creating a transparent culture. In this culture, people would get and give candid feedback to each other in real time (a front line employee could even give direct feedback to the CEO), and people would show their vulnerabilities/ their weaknesses and what they are working on changing. Because of this, they’d grow individually and collectively for their own benefit and for the company’s bottom-line.

This 19 minute audio HBR interview with Kegan and Lahey will tell you what it really looks like in a few deliberately developmental organizations that they researched.

As you read and/ or listen, I’ll be in Washington, DC, deepening my learning in leadership systems and strengthening my skills to support culture change.

Together, dear leaders, we can be ahead of the curve by creating human cultures that produce amazing results right here in Atlantic Canada.

Please be prepared. You’ll need to take off your clothes – metaphorically, of course.

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[1] Join me and executive coaches Carol Gabanna and Alana Walsh Essery for Good Leaders Ask Great Questions on May 18, 2016. It’s a free event in celebration of International Coaching Week. Asking great questions can help you learn to say a strategic “No” and not take on the work of others. Please RSVP by May 16th to: cabanna@hratlantic.ca

 

Chamber event

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