Here’s what’s been on our minds lately … This is where we post occasional thoughts, observations, photos and ideas that we find relevant and connected to our work.
It’s that time of year, March Madness, where many of us watch the college teams battle it out in the NCAA basketball tournament. What I love about this season is seeing close games where talented athletes deliver incredible levels of performance, both individually and collectively. What’s almost as interesting is the breakdowns that happen and how coaches engage when teams don’t live up to their full capabilities.
Leaders I work with have big jobs, big mandates and big challenges. They also have very little time to think in big ways, yet all feel the need to transform some part of their organization. Each one of my clients is smart, hard-working, skillful and experienced. However, they lack something essential to their ability to lead their organizations to the next stage: time to reflect, intuit and discern new insights.
While diversity and inclusion are not new topics, they have seen renewed focus given the #MeToo and #Timesup movements. Recently, I’ve seen leaders working to get better results within their organizations with respect to diversity and inclusion. This is not just the politically correct thing to do. Studies have shown that inclusivity, diversity and engagement equate positively to productivity, profitability, quality, employee commitment, and retention, as well as to innovation and creativity. In fact, a recent report states that “companies have increasingly begun to regard inclusion and diversity as a source of competitive advantage, and specifically as a key enabler of growth.”
Do you find yourself feeling blocked at times with seemingly no way forward? Or perhaps you find you are repeating old patterns that you didn’t realize were keeping you in neutral? Recently, like some of my clients, I found myself stuck in how I was seeing my business situation…. I couldn’t see anything but a block to what I wanted. Then, as I started becoming curious, working the issue from different perspectives, I realized, “Wow, I am not stuck, my thinking is stuck!” That was the insight I needed to start to think differently, attack the problem from a new perspective. The result? I now am energized, focused, and making changes that will get me to the outcome I want.
In the work I do with leaders, teams and organizations, a constant challenge – regardless of the industry or issue – is around keeping pace with change on an individual and collective level. Bob Anderson, author of Mastering Leadership, speaks to this point when he discusses the correlation between business results and leadership effectiveness. Bob states, “The pace of development for leaders must exceed or match the pace of change in business conditions.” Do you agree? Think back through your career and note how your development was keeping pace. What do you notice? Were you actively changing to match business conditions?
For most of my clients, the hardest part of goal setting and realization is continually bringing energy and focus to their goals throughout the course of the year. While many people begin each new year with reflections and purposeful intentions, at some point, additional motivation will be needed. By nature, a habit is a settled routine and it is hard work to depart from practices we have used for years. In working with leaders, I find that we all need something that serves as a reminder of who we are becoming, because it can generate the juice to help us fulfill our purpose.