“It was a dire situation. The team were no longer motivated. They were no longer inspired. In fact, they were burnt out. Their work had become a chore and it was now entrenched in the culture to do the bare minimum and get out. Customers were no longer loyal, business growth was hit and miss and mistakes were rife.
There was gossiping, there was bickering and there was a mistrust of management. Leadership was non-existent with repercussions being used to control behaviour and rewards to gain allies. It was clear that things were getting worse by the day. Something drastic was needed to shift this stagnant energy and it was needed fast.”
Like many organisations, when the realisation hits that things are not going as planned it is usually very far down the road. Getting back on track when things have spiralled out of control is not impossible, but it is no easy feat either.
And whilst the leadership training industry is globally worth a staggering $366 billion annually (www.trainingindustry.com) most of these initiatives fail to be implemented or bring about lasting change. The findings of a McKinsey report shared in their article ‘Why Leadership Development Programs Fail’ (January 2014) shed some light as to the common mistakes made by training programs. They narrowed it down to: 1. Overlooking Context, 2. Not Enough Application, 3. Underestimating Mind-Sets, and 4. Failing To Measure Results.
The heart of the matter is, that it is just that – the heart – that is missing from all of these initiatives. We are human beings – each with a different story, a mix of experiences, a plethora of opinions and most importantly, a unique purpose built on values that are deeply entrenched. Any attempt to build a program around standardised analysis or a one size fits all approach is destined to fail.
Every effort to look at and enhance organisational performance comes down to looking at the people first. It requires a personalised and face-to-face approach that ensures open and honest communication with a focus on shifting limiting beliefs, mindsets that no longer represent who we are and providing the catalyst for deep behavioural change.
Only when we are willing to do the hard work – willing to go within and look at the elements that make us who we are and why – only then can we even begin to consider looking at the leadership traits that we aspire to have. It takes courage and a whole lot of heart to acknowledge that there is another way of living, of doing things, of being. A way that begins and ends steeped in unconditional love – ‘agape’ as we say in Greek. The type of love that can transcend and transform.
The secret for lasting organisational change is starting with our hearts – committing, with discipline, to doing the inner work so that the outer world starts to shift. We work on ourselves, our traits, our behaviours, and our ability to grow as we expand our mindsets. We then take this step by step into our workplace with practical applications on a daily basis. And whilst this is happening, the organisational shifts are being worked on by the collective whole.
And that is how we get the job done. One heart at a time.