Curiouser and Curiouser – As a Leader are you engaging your curiosity to build a Culture of Accountability with your team?

 

When Alice fell down the rabbit hole, she set off on an adventure, that would lead her to make this statement. With each new discovery, and the more curious that she became, the more curious and stranger Wonderland seemed to her.

She did more than step out of her comfort zone and did more than ask standard questions to get basic information, and the dialogue of Lewis Carroll’s classic is anything but straightforward. How often as leaders, do we miss opportunities to explore and grow with our team, and with our organization because our questions are looking for ‘just the facts’ rather than exploring the potential thought-provoking richness of the answers?

I am not suggesting that we stop looking for facts, data, and evidence-based approaches to support successful organizational growth, nor engaging in a Mad Hatter’s Tea Party at the next staff meeting. However, I invite you to consider how increasing your curiosity within your leadership role can be a place of untapped personal and organizational growth.

Within New World LeadershipTM we begin by learning about ourselves, so we may better learn about, and work with, others. We ask ourselves hard and heartfelt questions. Our first layer of curiosity is to explore why we do what we do. What are our driving forces? How do they manifest in our beliefs, behaviours, actions, and interactions? Conversations that occur between leaders in our sessions reveal that often people with similar motivations act on them differently, or those who are behaving similarly are doing so for very different reasons, and likely getting different results. We come to realize that things we recognize in others may instead be our own projections: places, where we think we don’t need to ask a question, can instead become our greatest locations for unintended misunderstanding.

By starting with ourselves, and sharing this exploration in curiosity, the transformation begins. We examine how we currently lead ourselves, and then move to discover how this informs our engagement of curiosity in relationship to others. We investigate, and challenge, the very questions, and contexts, we use in these relationships, to see if we really are getting the answers and engagement needed for success and a culture of personal accountability.

Curiosity and vulnerability are sources of growth and accountability in Transformational Leadership.

A recent project with a client to create an engaged and accountable corporate culture is taking their leadership, and their organization, on an enlightening journey. The leadership team are living and embodying the curiosity which they explored in their Transformational Leadership process. Knowing that culture is created based on how beliefs, behaviours, and actions are embodied by leadership, and wanting to ensure that engagement and shared values are part of this new collective culture of accountability, these leaders are finding themselves asking new questions and in new ways. They are reflecting on past engagement practices and challenging themselves with new ones in a process that balances structure and measurable tasks and goals, with organic curiosity, and adaptation to responses, to ensure the value of the questions and richness of response, and outcomes.

Their leadership is recognizing places where old energy practices, formats, tools, and expectations cannot provide them the answers, or the corporate culture, that they strive to create.

They are engaged in a process of curiosity, about themselves, and their organization from the frontlines to the C-Suite. Having recognized that even with their shared values as a leadership team, there is diversity in their driving forces and methods for getting results. They know that similar diversity exists throughout their organization. They are using their curiosity to learn more about that diversity and how to best engage their entire team in a process of culture creation. They are going down rabbit holes and asking questions that they may never have foreseen before this process, and certainly not before their own Transformational Leadership experience.

Their journey is an ongoing one, and the results to date are insightful and inspiring. One inspiring part of this process is watching Leaders use their curiosity. They are exploring better ways to learn about what motivates others, and what meets the collective needs of the team in a collaborative process where dialogue, curiosity, exploration, and vulnerability are encouraged. Providing the tools and context to facilitate a Transformational Leadership process for an organization is a rewarding and heartfelt experience for us at Change Innovators. What reinforces our commitment to what we do is when we see Leaders use those tools to further cultivate their skills personally, and within others. Here we are witnessing the seeds of a culture of accountability be sown. All because they are empowered by their own curiosity, and open to the adventures and growth that will follow.

Are you brave enough to be just as curious with your team?

Sharon Blady Ph.D.,

Faculty Change Innovators Inc

Why is Leadership Development So Hard?

Everything we have ever known about leadership and management is being challenged. Our hard-wired beliefs about how to improve performance and create engagement is being pushed to the limits every day of every week.

Leadership Development is a completely new game if you want to have a sustainable transformational impact that is felt at every level. Here are just a few of the things we are being challenged with.

Tell vs. Sell vs. Simply Make a Connection

We have moved from a tell mentality to a sell (buy-in) mentality to one that is about making a real connection. A leader’s ability to make a meaningful connection with team members is crucial to building a high-performance team. As a species, we have a natural and innate need for connection. This is a brand-new skill for many leaders and one that takes time and often a completely new look at relationships at work.

Feedback Doesn’t Work?

Recent studies show that feedback doesn’t work. OMG… who would have thought. If we really think about it, this does make complete sense. How do you feel when someone says, “Can we chat for a moment?”. If you are a frontline employee or frontline supervisor and you hear these words, I want to meet to give you some feedback, from your boss it can invoke a rush of cortisol that impacts brain function. Then we wonder why our feedback sessions don’t really work. We still hear leaders refer to the sh…t sandwich. OMG

Action Combined with the Right Energy vs. Instructions and Expectations

Leaders are being watched, observed and monitored by their employees every single day. What we do and how we do it matters significantly more then what we say. The leader’s energy tells the story and the story is what matters. Energy management is at the core of great leadership.

Self-Development vs. Developing Others

How can any leader believe that their role is to develop others when they won’t take the self-development to challenge themselves? Creditability and authenticity are at stake very time a leader tries to push, pull and / or coach another towards development when they themselves are unwilling to be on the self-evolution pathway.

As artificial intelligence and machine learning are on the rise so is our need to fully understand the human condition, positive human psychology and what the human truly needs to be in a state of high performance. We are being challenged to step up to the leadership plate in a way we have never been asked to before.

We hope you take the challenge. Our New World Leadership Series is coming to your city.
Please check out the cities, times and locations at https://changeinnovators.com/leadership

The Power and Vulnerability of Leading Self

“Vulnerability is not winning or losing; it’s having the courage to show up and be seen when we have no control over the outcome.” Brené Brown
When we think of leadership, and leadership development, how often do we think about power and strength, rather than vulnerability? Power and strength are seen as assets and vulnerability as a liability. But is that really the case? Are we missing out on transformational and powerful leadership by not addressing, and exploring our vulnerability as leaders?

Traditionally leadership development focuses on how to lead others, but how can we do something for others, if we can’t even do it for ourselves first?

Transformational Leadership is more than ‘practice what you preach’ or modeling behaviors, it is about being a leader that others want to follow. We do this by embodying strength through our willingness to explore vulnerability as part of personal and leadership development.

Leading is a verb, an action. We are truly a leader when others choose to follow us, not because of a title, giving direction, or that they are direct reports. The first step in exploring our vulnerability as leaders is recognizing how much is out of our control. This includes the reality that team members choose whether or not to follow. In accepting that and embracing what we can control – Leading Self – we demonstrate the ‘courage to show up.’

It is easy to pick up lists of “do’s and don’ts” for managing others. It is much more powerful to consider one’s emotional intelligence, areas where one relies too heavily on strengths or avoids places of potential growth. This exploration is crucial to Leading Self, and where openness to vulnerability provides potential for strengthening our leadership capacities. In Leading Self, we are liberated and empowered.

Leading Self is also the first-step in the creation of an Accountability Culture in an organization. In such an environment, teams are also liberated and empowered. We can’t give them something we don’t have – we have to Lead Self before we can lead others.

As leaders, our courage to Lead Self by exploring, and growing from our vulnerability, is one of the greatest strengths we can offer our teams, our organizations, and ourselves.

Accountability and Culture… What’s Really Going On?

 

When we take the time to ask ourselves the really hard questions while digging deep for answers we often find truths that we never considered. Many of the results we get in our corporate cultures are unintentional. Meaning that we never set out to create environments where people feel disempowered, with minimal control and where the victim mentality can thrive and yet this is often exactly the environment created.

All we have to do is look at the number of policies and procedures we have combined with the layers of management. Then consider how little most organizations know about human behavior, optimal brain function, resiliency and high performance attributes. It is no wonder so many leaders struggle to make a real connection with their team contributors.

Breaking this down is so much easier then we think. Ask yourself what do I need to feel engaged? What do I need to feel connected? What do I need to truly feel trust and trusted. What are all the attributes one really needs to feel a true sense of belonging. Then ask yourself why would my employees want anything less.

Leaders have to ask themselves, what do I believe about human behavior? What are my biases and how did I come to these conclusions. Most of what we know and believe was given to us by well meaning parents, grandparents, managers, clergy, and community leaders. The question is; are they actually my beliefs or someone else’s. Did I accidently and unintentionally adopt these beliefs because it is what I was told over and over again until I firmly believed it to be true.

Unknowingly and unintentionally we often find leaders using shame, guilt, fear, consequences, subtle threats, expectations, politics to name only a few. This is not because leaders are bad, mean or nasty but more often they are leaders who learned this from their managers and their managers manager. The old heavy energy of corporate life can be riddled with undesired, unwanted and unintentional behavior that is rewarded. It is what many leaders have personally experienced.

When a leader learns to go inside, to that quiet place underneath it all and ask themselves what is the right thing to do in this moment; Slowly reflecting while listening to that inner voice. Everything changes. Humans have innate goodness and a sense of compassion and love that goes beyond any corporate endeavor however most have not been encouraged to tap into this side of our humanness at work. We also have been taught to run at break-neck speed with quantity over quality at the core of performance. Or worse a sense of perfection combined with quantity. Lets pretend to be perfect while we compete to see who can do the most work. Learning the skills of quiet reflection…presence… inner voice listening is easy but takes some practice. The moment we begin to do this consistently we begin to see our role as leaders completely differently. We change our approach and begin to build the necessary relationships where contributors want and do take full responsibility for the outcomes they get. This is human nature at it’s best.

Working at the executive level in Canada, USA and Europe we have seen culture shifts that are so remarkable and almost impossible to imagine as leaders, teams and entire organizations re-invent themselves through a simple yet highly effective process. We don’t teach anything the leaders don’t already know; we simply become the signposts for what is already there. We hold the mirror and create a safe space for leaders to become exactly who they have always been!

#leadselfandtherestwillfollow #lifechangingleadership #newworldleadership

Respectful Workplace Behaviour – March 2018

Please click below for our March Life Changing Leadership Blast on Respectful Workplace Behaviour!  Let us know what you think!

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Training People How To Treat Us – February 2018

Please click below for our February Life Changing Leadership Blast on Training People How To Treat Us!  Let us know what you think!

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Listening with Intensity – December 2017

Please click below for our December Life Changing Leadership Blast on Listening!  Let us know what you think!

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The Language of Potentiality – October 2017

Please click below for our October Life Changing Leadership Blast on The Language of Potentiality!  Let us know what you think!

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Introversion and Extraversion – September 2017

Please click below for our September Life Changing Leadership Blast on Introversion and Extraversion!  Let us know what you think!

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The Balancing Act – August 2017

Please click below for our August Life Changing Leadership Blast on The Balancing Act!  Let us know what you think!

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