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Transforming Leadership: The 3 Basics

I believe that the greatest truths of the universe don’t lie outside, in the study of the stars and the planets. They lie deep within us, in the magnificence of our heart, mind, and soul. Until we understand what is within, we can’t understand what is without. —Anita Moorjani, Dying To Be Me

Row of daisiesThere is a lot of discussion in the news this week about leadership. Society expects a great deal from leaders who are in a position of authority, as we should. We want them to provide us with moral direction. We look outside ourselves to identify leadership weaknesses; and the truth is, we don’t have to look too hard. In my work with organizations, employees find it challenging to identify positive role models and examples of effective leadership in the workplace. It is more common, when asked for a positive example, for examples of ineffective leaders to be cited. Why is this? There are several contributing factors, but I believe that one factor is a disempowered mindset. Because we don’t often spend enough time looking within to identify our own strengths and weaknesses as a leader.

What do we expect from ourselves as leaders? How do we influence without authority? When do we take a stand? How do we listen to others with respect when their opinion is morally or ethically opposed to our own? When does another’s rights to freedom of speech cross our own boundary line? How do we lead when faced with differences that seem vast and insurmountable? Can we find our power without force or violence?

Learning to lead skillfully, artfully, and mindfully is paramount; if the conflicts in our homes, at work, in our communities, in politics, and in society as a whole are to find peaceful and productive resolution.

I have been delivering Leadership Basics for over ten years. The program was initially developed to answer questions, such as; What is leadership; How do I lead and influence without position; Who am I as a leader; What is the value in different leadership styles? In 1.5 days, the program raises these questions, and seeks to set each person on a quest to find the answers for themselves. And it’s a great starting place, but transforming leadership takes more than attending one workshop.

Leadership development is a life-long pursuit, that demands leaders to continually re-focus on Self-awareness, Interpersonal Relationships, while developing a Global Mindset. I challenge you to consider these questions:
• Where do I need to take a stand and positively influence an outcome?
• What skills will I need to lead, while communicating productively rather than destructively?
• What’s at stake if I don’t choose to lead?

Start your leadership journey today

 

Deb Siverson is an author and president of Xponents, Inc. Her book, “The Cycle of Transformation: Igniting Organizational Change through the Leader Coach”, encourages transparent and emotionally-connected conversations at work. Her company’s focus is to bring out the best in people by recognizing and aligning unique talent, values, and purpose.

 

From Conflict to Collaborative Partnerships

Conflict seems to be the rule rather than the exception these days. This weekend I read a quote, “Trying to find the balance between staying informed, and total insanity.” Daily doses of conflict are becoming exhausting. The disagreement over issues and differences of opinions is not what makes conflict hard. Conflict is hard because of the pain that comes from making, and taking it personallyCollaborative Partnerships Spokeswoman Cartoon.

The root of conflict is differences; in styles, personality, opinions, priorities, goals…you get it. There is no way that conflict can be avoided, it is as common as a cold. Something that is such a common part of life should be easier to master. So why can’t we get better at it? Why do we push hard to get our way, or avoid the messiness of conflict all together?

The complexity of making a rational decision, especially as the stakes increase, require evaluating all the facts, more facts than we can easily gather efficiently before we want to move on to something else. In a word, it is overwhelming. Daniel Kahneman won the Nobel Prize in Economic Science when he and his team’s research challenged the assumptions of traditional economic theory–that people make rational choices based on their self-interest–by showing that people frequently fail to fully analyze situations where they must make complex judgments. Most people prefer the simplicity of looking at the world based on their own preconceived views that were built by their limited experiences. When individuals have enough information to validate their own view of the world, that is generally enough to move forward. Most people don’t like operating in shades of gray, but prefer black and white, right and wrong. And they don’t like to leave things hanging, so they decide where they stand, and they move on. Collaboration and cooperation is only possible when we are willing to admit, to ourselves, to each other, that we may each only have a piece of the truth.

Creating Collaborative Partnerships with others is available to each of us if we can withhold our judgement and preconceived ideas long enough to listen to another view of the truth. Remember the story of the blind men and the elephant? One had the tail, one a leg, the other an ear, each touching a different part of the whole body. It took all of them to be able to see the bigger picture; developing collaborative partnerships to work through their conflict. This week reminds me of how difficult it can be to listen to each other, to imagine what another person sees, and why, and to get curious about a point of view that is different from my own. To seek first to understand and without demanding to be understood. To embrace rather than defend. How their view influences the bigger view. How our view is closer to the truth.

How serendipitous it is that this week Xponents is releasing our first online program: Creating Collaborative Partnerships. If you want some tips on how to improve your ability to collaborate, cooperate, and work with others more effectively toward a bigger possibility, we invite you to participate in the self-directed program, or the group mastermind.

 

Deb

Deb Siverson is an author and president of Xponents, Inc. Her book, “The Cycle of Transformation: Igniting Organizational Change through the Leader Coach”, encourages transparent and emotionally-connected conversations at work. Her company’s focus is to bring out the best in people by recognizing and aligning unique talent, values, and purpose.