Truth: Organizations tend to take on the characteristics of their leaders and unaligned behaviours.
The values, habits, and biases, of the founders and dominant leaders, leave imprints and constraints, on the organization and culture. This then causes most organization-wide initiatives fall short of full potential.
At least 50% or more of change initiatives, or M&A’s fail!
Ever heard of the phrase ‘a chip off the old block’? Or “as the leader goes, so the pack follows”? Another similar metaphor or concept, and truism, is… Culture is “the shadow of the leader”.
It describes the phenomenon where leaders, through their likes, dislikes, behaviors, values, attitudes, actions, and consciousness, or lack thereof, tend to impact, influence, and shape organisational culture and consequent staff beliefs, values and behaviors.
Quite simply – if your culture is bad; toxic, unsafe, or fear-based, stop looking in the “garden” (Staff) for the problem or cause, and start looking at the “gardeners” – your leadership who actually controls and impacts your culture.
Coined by Sean Delany the “shadow of a leader” is an insightful and helpful metaphor.
Think of organisations you know and how the personality and behaviors of the leader influences their cultures. Many leaders, are unconscious of how they are really perceived. A meaningless drive, purely for profit, can create a cold, disengaged, heartless, cut-throat, culture.
LEADERSHIP BLIND SPOTS ARE DANGEROUS
We all have BLIND-SPOTS. If you have ever explored the Johari’s Window model, you’ll have an idea of the challenge of your BLIND SPOTS. Problem: Most leaders drink their own koolaid! They believe and prioritise their own story/viewpoint.
As companies and teams grow, they experience serious impacts from the “shadow of the unconscious leader”.
The consequences are that the culture takes on a life of it’s own, and permeates the entire workplace. Within days, new staff become quickly “educated” on…how things go around here!
Just pray your culture is enabling, and not toxic and disabling!
To make a positive CultureShift, the leader’s consciousness, values, mindsets, and behaviors, needs to change from a Profit only focus, to profit, planet AND people/meaningful purpose.
Because many leaders have little idea re their culture or actually how to fix it, the spread HOPIUM…Saying, that things will change….This is not good enough. Because things seldom improve on their own.
Delegating culture change to admin / HR Department just won’t cut it! The root source of your culture comes from your leadership actions. Are you a CONSCIOUS Leader?
CEO ownership and personal engagement wins hands down as a key success factor
for creating and establishing a new High Performance Positive Conscious culture.
A NEW CULTURE REQUIRES NEW CONSTRUCTIVE BEHAVIORS
Positive culture improvement, is about actual personal leadership mindset, values, and behavioral changes that are reliable, dependable, aligned with espoused values and agreements, and sincere.
New processes, clear focus, re-energised actions, better attitudes and growth Mindsets, are required.
Plus clarifying purpose and aligning the team’s energy, Fierce Focus and SWIFT Actions, towards meaningful goals, are top of leader’s priority list.
To grow successfully, and sustainably, in a Human Centered High Performance Workplace, the “leaders’ shadow” needs to change-shape, expand its influence and impact, become more Consciously Constructive.
It must be positively aligned, with agreed values and behavioral agreements/ rules of engagement. It all starts at the top!
“The kiss of death for a leader’s credibility, impacts, and influence, is to have espoused and agreed company values, and then be seen NOT WALKING THE TALK!”
The ideal “shadow of the leader” makes clear the WHY and HOW we act or behave. It becomes the purposeful leadership example, walking the talk, and inspiring force, that enables, improves, energises, and drives, a High Performance Workplace, and positive, proactive, collaborative teams culture.
The most powerful way for a leader to start to ensure a High Performance Workplace is established and maintained, is to begin with asking for radically HONEST feedback.
To get this requires a context and culture where the people have full psychological safety, and freedom from consequences being enacted or carried out by immature/Low EQ and unconscious leaders.
Leaders and managers, by their daily attitudes, mindsets, and interactions, create the Context, Culture, Climate and Commitment, that directly influences and even controls your people’s mood and emotional/mental state.
You create the lift to boost their spirits towards higher happiness, or push them down to hopeless, helpless, and more unhappiness.
Your staff all have their own environmental and cultural influences and consequences that they bring to work.
As a MANAGER OF YOU PEOPLE, your responsibility is to create a context, and the Psychological Safety, where your people can flourish, thrive, unleash, and utilise, their fullest potential, in a positive manner for the greatest good and meaning for ALL.
The LEADER, as the Chief Culture Officer, is the main catalyst for a new more effective culture, as they created their current – undesired or under performing culture.
To be personally engaged in leading effective culture change, the CEO/Leaders must:
- Consciously work on their leadership behaviors that they need to shift in themselves and then show up differently each day in the organization.
- Lead your senior team through culture-shaping sessions, activities, values and agreed rules of behavior, before any other teams take part.
- Take ownership of the focus and drive on defining the desired and needed culture and clarifying the organization’s Values, and purpose/ meaningful Goals.
- Focus on building a positive focused appreciative and recognition based culture.
- Senior leadership own and lead the culture-shaping process.
- Leaders need a clear, compelling purpose for themselves, their entire organization, beyond just more profits; united with strong business rationales to inspire a Thriving High-Performance culture.
- The CultureShift process must be supported by resources, and a methodical entrenching plan.
- Leaders cast powerful shadows; thus, the new desired culture needs to be explicitly defined with clear values and associated behaviors. This is then consistently modeled by ALL of the senior team.
Many workplaces have “we vs them” turf-control issues between units, and different functions. The CEO wants to “fix” the organization, but often senior executives or managers are not fully competent, committed, aligned, or mutually supportive.
They don’t speak with one voice to their teams. They don’t speak up in meetings… Why?
Fear? They are generally polite and non-confrontational. They appear to agree to CEO suggested or dictated decisions, but then they don’t support or communicate those decision outside the meeting all the way through to the rest of their teams.
If you asked staff at the lower levels of the organisations, why they don’t perform to their fullest potentials, and collaborate more effectively, you will probably hear, in a variety of comments… “Why should we? Our bosses don’t!, Don’t know How! We don’t know each other enough!”, Don’t feel motivated enough!”
Like the… Fish rots from the head – scenario.
It’s clear that the role of the leader requires modeling the agreed and desired attitudes, energy, and behaviors, and letting others see the agreed values in action…Daily.
To become a more effective and conscious leader, become aware of your shadows. Then learn to consciously match your actions with your messages and agreements/values. After all you are the LEADER of the pack!
When u look in a mirror, the person you see looking back at you is the place where you have MOST control…
This is the best place to begin the Consciousness, Culture and Mindset shift. Start the shift from profit only, to People, Purpose, Planet AND Profits.
Now it’s your turn to show your team the ideal example of a Conscious high performance leader.
Give your team a safe voice… Listen to uncover the dormant potential. Otherwise, whose job is it to listen to your people, and get them to activate their fullest potential?
Agility Matters! Listen today, respond today – Notice we avoided the REACT today… 🙂 We’re assuming you are a slightly more conscious, caring, compassionate, competent and committed Leader now.
The Greeders’s time are over….We live in a real time world, you need to be a Limitless, Conscious, real time, Real leader, if you are to become a Revolutionary Workplace, a place where you unleash your organizations fullest potentials and commitments to a better, brighter, high performance organization that thrives in the Fourth Industrial Revolution era.