Executive and Leadership Counselling
For many executives and leaders the issue is not how to do the job as most have very good and even superior skills at the actual job. Where there is a shortfall is how to work with and relate to the team members and how to develop the team community. There is much research that suggests that the core of a strong and healthy organization is a leader who knows themselves increasingly well, who knows the team members in a personal way, and who bases all this in a developed authentic interest in the human beings who he or she has responsibility to lead and to support. Further such leader is the psychological leader of the organization and understands the importance and process of development of the psychologically minded organization.
From The Art of War. Mei Yao Chen (p. 74) states: “It is easy to get people to act by means of the force of momentum, whereas it is hard to demand power in individual people. The able have to choose the right people and also let the force of momentum do its work.”
[Sun Tzu (1988). The Art of War. (Tr. Cleary, T.) Boulder CO: Shambhala]
A leader who knows how to read the hearts and minds of people and to read the atmosphere and force field directions will know what to do when, and how, and it will all seem natural. He or she will know how to move with the existing momentum and tendencies. This will be a natural process; and in no way a process that manipulates to an outcome that is not consistent with strongly held values and authentic ways of being.
December 11, 2017. Leadership:
Leaders must have a number of skills and talents in combination with passion. Two world famous business leaders, Ray Dalio (CEO and founder of Bridgewater hedge fund) and Seth Godin (developer of dot com business, and now widely published author) both agree that honesty, authenticity, vision, and relationship are core values and practices for organizational success.
Honesty: Creating an environment where the truth is highly valued, encouraged, and where lack of this would be considered highly problematic. Included in this is the invitation to give and to be recipient of feedback without fear of consequences that would be damaging.
Authenticity: speaking truth in a way that is congruent with the feeling tone of the expression and that is consistent with core values and views.
Vision: This is about having a view of a process of development without being fixed on all the content. It is not about gratuitous positive statements. Vision requires knowledge, skill, clarity of expression, inclusiveness, and in-the moment and ongoing feeling for the vision. A leader must be able to articulate the vision and be an exemplar of the type of person that embodies the vision.
Relationship: A leader must have a belief in, and the ability to see, the interconnectedness of all people and parts of the organization. Their ability to communicate, connect, and model values will be crucial to the success of the organization. A leader will recognize and facilitate relationships at all levels, between all member of the organizational culture, and will recognize that relationship between all people within the organization along with a common commitment to the overall vision about the human dimension is central to the success of the organization.
The above is not to suggest that other models, including command and control cannot work. Indeed, they can. The important questions are: What really matters? What are the core values? How are organization’s community members valued? What is the nature of the culture? What contribution does the organization make to the personal and professional development of all organizational members, and to the community beyond the organizaion? What is the purpose of the organization?
The above is not to devalue profit, which is essential to the organization’s survival. Rather the suggestion is that the above dimensions will almost certainly lead to financial success, will foster strong commitment from employees, and will create an atmosphere of generativity, creativity, and passion for the organization and the product and/or service that is outcome of the work.
December 15, 2017. Mindfulness:
This practice is most helpful, although not the only one, for development of the core ability of self-awareness for leaders who wish to provide leadership that is effective in achieving organizational and personal goals. The practice is in the service of identifying what is in the way of clear vision and authentic being. To the extent that vision is clear and expression is authentic the likelihood of moving in the right direction is very high. As well, such ability enhances greatly the sense of felt connection for organizational members, buy in, commitment, and passion for the overall project.