This blog post was submitted by one of our fantastic contributors, Jaime Taets, CEO of Keystone Group International.
Every house needs a solid foundation to remain strong and weather the storms that will inevitably come. Our organization’s Culture and Employee Experience is much the same. We don’t build it during or after the storm, we build it in the calm times, the times when we can give it the focus is deserves so it stands strong when the storms come.
The biggest part of the foundation of any organization is Conscious Leadership. It drives how we think, act and interact as we are weathering the storms of change. Conscious Leadership is focused on creating an environment where people feel a sense of belonging and bring their strengths to work each day to have an impact on the organization. And the result of having conscious leaders in your organization is employee retention. People will stay where they feel valued. People will perform for leaders that they trust and are committed to their success.
Often time as leaders, we believe our jobs are to have all the right answers, to be able to solve the biggest problems and have all the best ideas. The truth is, our job as conscious leaders is to ask all the right questions, challenge people to think differently about our biggest problems and create the space for people to bring the best ideas forward. Our organizations do not thrive and grow when leaders are directing and controlling the efforts of their people. Organizations and humans thrive when leaders are inspiring and challenging them to think differently and get curious.
The good news is that conscious leadership skills can be honed. We aren’t born conscious leaders, we have it modeled for us and we learn techniques that help us put it into action in our own authentic way. There’s no one type of leader, just like there’s no one strategy to grow our organizations. It requires conscious action and decisions that move us forward, some that succeed and some that cause us to learn. But there is no wrong way to develop our conscious leadership skills. The only failure is to subscribe to the arrogance that what worked before will work forever. We are never done growing as leaders, and as the business climate around us evolves, we need to ensure we are evolving.
Here are a few ideas to strengthen your Conscious Leadership muscle:
- Focus on coaching. Leaders don’t have all the right answers, they know the right questions. Think about that when working with your team. Coach them through the change or the issue. You hired them for a strength, so help them utilize that strength to solve the problem they are facing. Just like you would a kid on your youth basketball team – help them find their unique strength and then help them figure out how to apply that strength to help the team win – together.
- Don’t overcomplicate it. Life is complicated enough, as leaders we don’t have to overcomplicate our role. Caring about your people is free. It doesn’t cost you anything to truly care about who they are as humans and what makes them tick. And then use that to power their growth. Find out who they are beyond just their degree and title, find out what ignites passion in them and help them do more of it.
- Be vulnerable. Admit where your own limitations are as a leader. Ask your team to help you grow, model a growth mindset for them and you will bring out the best in them. Can you remember a leader in your life that you would do anything for? Someone who you knew cared for you and would have supported you no matter what? Become that leader. Strive to live up to that level every day.
As the business world evolves, leaders are being called to a new level of leadership. Focus on your own gaps and areas of growth and opportunity and be the leader that your future organization needs.
Keystone Group International guides businesses in becoming more focused and aligned, by providing solutions at the intersection of strategy, leadership, and culture.
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