My last blog “Love Trumps Fear” challenged you to try replacing criticism with collaboration or generosity and gratitude rather than gossip. I’m curious if anyone tried it and how it worked because when you create your own “key words” as a vision for your personal, authentic leadership it can transform your life and those around you.
For about 10 years my clients have applied this concept as individuals and organizations and the results have been remarkable and sustainable. In fact, their results prompted me to write the book From Type A to Type T: How to Be a Transformational Leader in a Bottom-Line World so we can transform our communities one person, one organization, at a time. While the book describes why becoming a transformational leader is essential, it also provides a step by step process that works.
From Controlling to Caring
One executive described in the book was dominating, controlling, and intimidating. Your basic corporate Type A bully. Unfortunately, but not surprisingly, she had been rewarded with promotions and pay raises over the years for her ability to get things done – which was being a steam-roller. When she reached the executive level, she was told “stop acting that way- you’re too aggressive.” Naturally she was confused because that’s how she “became successful.”
Interestingly, although she was successful, in terms of title and money, she was unhappy and disconnected from people. We embarked on a process to define “who she would be” if she was happy and engaged with friends, family and co-workers. In her vision of authentic personal leadership, she would be “trusting, empowering, a team player, caring and joyous.” She was diligent and persistent in being a person who demonstrated these qualities. Two years later, she had developed collaborative relationships at work and was promoted again, based on her team building skills. Even her relationship with her children became more fun and relaxed. Eventually she was lured away to a very senior position out of state which she achieved based on her transformation to authentic leadership.
From Snarky to Service Oriented
Another example, not in the book, is about an organization that had a “team of people” who were snarky, mean-spirited and just plain nasty with each other. It was a large, international association and while they were able to serve their members, the staff and new CEO, in particular, were miserable. It’s no wonder – the organization’s values were based on a long tradition of altruism, (a principle or practice of concern for the welfare of others,) and here they were – totally out of alignment with the core value of the organization.
We applied the same process as a team that I’d used with individuals. The group collaborated and agreed that the culture that they wanted would be: “respectful, service-oriented, professional ,flexible and have more humor and fun.” Within weeks, the atmosphere was lighter and more aligned with an organization that is focused on altruism.
So as we enter the new year, I invite you to look inward to see how you can transform the world around you. What do you want to be known for? How do you want to make a difference?
Be the change.
Marty Stanley, CSP, is a catalyst and visionary for personal and organizational change. Her “key words” that she applies with all of her clients are: Empowering, Regenerating and Sustainable. She empowers people with knowledge, tools and resources, so that the processes can be regenerating and sustainable whether she is there or not or whether individuals leave or enter the organization.