What if…

Last week we had out faculty conference and about 35 of our wonderful faculty met over two days in London to learn, explore and share.  Our vision at Holos is Universal Authentic Leadership and conversations at the conference helped us to think about how we can get closer to this.

I would like to explore what the effect of Universal Authentic Leadership might be in business, education and government.  Being authentic is knowing yourself and being it, skilfully in all situations.  Authentic Leadership adds enabling others to be authentic as well, while leading towards a positive purpose together.  It is NOT about saying whatever comes into your head even if it hurts or harms others.

Business

What if the best possible business model was one that created value for all life, especially future life?

Most conventional businesses currently operate on an extractive or exploitative, win/lose business model.  In this model someone or something has to lose in order for them to gain.  Very often this is our environment, workers, competitors or other animals.  Very often this is our children and our children’s children.

Imagine a business model that instead of working on win/lose, worked on win/win and even win/win/win.  A business model that profited from creating value for the widest possible sphere of life.  Creating value for workers, for competitors, for communities, for animals, plants and crucially for our children and grand children.

Such businesses exist and I wrote about them in my first two books.  The most significant example today is probably Tesla, who are committed to hastening the transition away from fossil fuels.  As a result of this Tesla are the victims of extensive sabotage efforts in the media and from mass shorting of their shares.  As long as they survive the conservative world’s efforts to stop them, Tesla will be insanely profitable, precisely because they are able to create so much value for so many and take a little of that margin for themselves.

At Holos ourselves our intention is to create substantial value in every interaction.  (My personal target is 1000 times what I am paid as the ripples go out from an intervention.)  Our plan is to help as many organisations as possible shift to fully authentic leadership so that the businesses, all of their stakeholders and their grandchildren can benefit from this win/win/win thinking.

When businesses exploit or extract everyone, including employees, is a competitor.  When we pursue a positive purpose there are far greater opportunities to collaborate.  “Boss” style leadership has to compete because their prime motivation is status.  It is only through Authentic Leadership that we can widely collaborate, because Authentic Leaders are driven by a purpose that followers align with.

Education

What if education was about building the confidence of every child to be the very best version of their authentic self?

Although there are many brilliant, wonderful teachers out there who strive to do just that, they are compromised by an education system that prioritises obedience over confidence.

An education system that prioritised confidence would deal far more effectively with behavioural issues, like bullying than most schools do today and would avoid teaching, testing and rewarding arcane subjects like algebra.

There is no doubt that algebra is fantastically useful for engineers and mathematicians, but for the rest of us it is rarely useful.  And yet the conventional education system requires that mathematics has more time spent on it than any other subject – why?

Looking back through the history of education it becomes apparent that the primary purpose of schooling children was to ensure an obedient workforce to work in factories, fight in trenches and operate a civil service. Our education today, in much of the world, is a legacy of this thinking.  Not only this but much of the programming is still around individual testing and marking.

Today the needs are radically different.  We need creative, collaborative, problem solving, self motivated, self disciplined people who are capable of influencing authority figures not just deferring to them.

The most important lesson our children learn in school today is how to relate to one another, how to make friends and deal with the tricky characters – peers and teachers.  We need schools to help them work these things out not just leave them to it.

And of course there are schools that do just that it is just that they are very much in the minority.  We need Authentic Leadership in education to migrate the system further away from obedience and towards confidence and collaboration in particular.

Government

What if government served and unified society, to create a better life for all and helped us to deal with the long term and existential threats we face?

It is perfectly possible to have a democratically elected government that does this, indeed there are many countries that already do.

However the most frighteningly backward area for leadership in our society is in politics.  Politics appears to be the last redoubt of Ruler and Boss style leadership, in far to many countries.  Government, as the name suggests, should be about governing, not the self aggrandisement of status hungry individuals.

Environmental damage, in the form of climate change, pollution, soil depletion, species loss and so on,  is by far the greatest threat we face as a society.  Any politician who fails to make this point is either disingenuous or dangerously ignorant and therefore unfit for office.

Politicians continue to distract us with petty bickering about how the pie we are busy destroying gets carved up and by allowing ourselves to be distracted we risk leaving our grandchildren to deal with a vile legacy.

We need voters to understand Authentic Leadership so that they never elect a politician who isn’t authentic again.  (Please note, I know that some people describe certain politicians as “authentic” because they say whatever is on their mind.  For me part of the skill of being authentic is not compromising the authenticity of others.  Therefore it can never be authentic to denigrate, bully or agress others.).

Holos helps make change easy. We help organisations develop their leaders, map out and deliver the changes required to achieve sustained success even in a highly disrupted environment.

At Holos we have been studying change leadership and leadership training in the crucible of reality for years. We know what great leadership looks like and we know the journey to achieve it. We have developed a suite of diagnostic tools to understand where companies and teams are on this journey and how to take them from there to sustained success.

Holos has a wealth of specialist leadership and culture coaches and consultants with decades of experience working with a huge variety of leaders. Holos can help you or your organisation to upgrade it’s leadership to flourish even in a challenging business environment.

Please share your ideas, comment and discuss here – click on the blog title and scroll to the bottom to find the comment box.

You can subscribe for free at http://www.holoschange.com,

Best

neil

Neil Crofts
Co-Founder
Holos

+447803 774239
neil@holoschange.com
http://www.holoschange.com

 

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Posted in Business, Leadership, society, Uncategorized | 3 Comments

Succeeding in challenging conversations

Over the last year or so we have been working with a group of actors (the same ones you see at places like Hampton Court and the Tower of London).  They have been helping us with a number of clients where we want participants to practice difficult conversations with heightened emotions.

The experience has been fascinating and I wanted to share some of the learning we have taken from running these experiences with around 300 participants.  It is worth saying that these sessions are designed to be somewhat confronting.  While the participants were diverse in most obvious ways they were all senior leaders in corporations.

1 – Authority figures – I am sure that most of us understand this intrinsically, if not from the Stanley Milgram experiments.  However, it is still challenging to realise just how few people are willing to challenge authority figures – even when they are senior people in their own right and know that the authority figures  are actors.  Out of our 300 people 3 individuals challenged the authority figure.  Out of them 2 were successful and only 1 was skilful.

The reason for this goes back to childhood and most commonly the fact that corporations tend to hire people who were successful at school and in most cases success at school requires us to defer to authority figures.  It appears that this is a lesson we learn well.

Excessive obedience and deference to authority figures creates risk for organisations.  It means that people, even senior people, will fail to speak up when things are going wrong or when they don’t understand something.  It also stifles creativity and reduces the chances of people contributing their own ideas.

As leaders we have to be aware of this shadow, even if the shadow is not our own.  We have to overcompensate for hierarchy by actively creating an environment of Psychological Safety and trust, where people feel safe to speak up and feel valued when they do.

2 – Dealing with other peoples emotions – Abilities to deal with other people’s emotions vary a great deal.  Most of us find dealing with an upset colleague stressful and confronting.  When faced with a visibly upset colleague very few can combine empathy with objectivity.  A few distance themselves from the emotion entirely and ignore it – even if the emotion then escalates.  Most will overcompensate and miss important factors as well as overcommitting themselves to actions in the future in the hope of reducing the anxiety now.

The very fine line of both calming the situation down and solving the problem appropriately is difficult to tread.  Especially as few of us have regular practice at dealing with these situations and when we do, we rarely have detailed feedback to learn from them – which was what happened in our simulations, see below.

The best approach seemed to be to first deal with the emotion empathetically and by focussing on general principles, without attempting to deal with the specific problem.  Once the emotions had subsided establish the facts and seek solutions.  The risk of not doing this was that the upset colleague’s own role in creating and solving the problem was often overlooked.

3 – Dealing with our own emotions – Very few of our participants were skilled in their own “State Awareness” or “State Management”, meaning that in the moment they did not have a good understanding of their own emotions or an ability to regulate them.  Around 3% were aware of their own “emotional leakage”.  The challenge of being able to hold both the situation, their own emotion, the emotion of others and the future in their consciousness at the same time felt very difficult to the majority.

On the whole the tendency was to react rather than respond, leading to outcomes that were generally good in the short term, but less than optimal in the medium term.

Those that managed it, typically had techniques for deliberately shifting themselves from System 1 to System 2 thinking, mostly by buying themselves some time.  Often this was done by asking more questions, but we also had people offering a glass of water and dropping pencils.

4 – Double hatting –  In our set up we had 2 leaders in a meeting with one other individual in a number of difference scenarios.  Most of these leaders were used to running this kind of conversation on their own and some were confused and even resistant to the idea of “double hatting” the meeting beforehand.

After the simulation had run there was universal appreciation of the value of having two leaders in the meeting.  The value of a second perspective, of time to think, of being able to play different roles and of being able to learn from each other made it very worthwhile. Several said that they would make a practice of doing it for regular meetings.

5 – Feedback – As well as the two leaders and an actor in our set up we also had three observers, focussing on the quality of listening, action and emotion in the conversation plus one of our team of facilitators.  At the end of the scenario the facilitator would first ask the leaders what they felt had gone well and how it could have been even better.  Then each of the observers and the actor before finally giving their own feedback.  The scenario usually lasted about 10 minutes and was followed by about 30 minutes of feedback using this “Appreciative enquiry” model.

While the scrutiny may have been a little uncomfortable at first the emotion of the actors immediately focussed the leader and they were straight into the drama of the scenario and forgot the observers.  All of the participants found tremendous value in the feedback after the scenario.  It is interesting that in organisations, meetings are often the key place where performance occurs and yet, unlike actors or athletes, we very rarely analyse these performances so that we can learn from them and improve.

Holos helps make change easy. We help organisations develop their leaders, map out and deliver the changes required to achieve sustained success even in a highly disrupted environment.

At Holos we have been studying change leadership and leadership training in the crucible of reality for years. We know what great leadership looks like and we know the journey to achieve it. We have developed a suite of diagnostic tools to understand where companies and teams are on this journey and how to take them from there to sustained success.

Holos has a wealth of specialist leadership and culture coaches and consultants with decades of experience working with a huge variety of leaders. Holos can help you or your organisation to upgrade it’s leadership to flourish even in a challenging business environment.

Please share your ideas, comment and discuss here – click on the blog title and scroll to the bottom to find the comment box.

You can subscribe for free at http://www.holoschange.com,

Best

neil

Neil Crofts
Co-Founder
Holos

+447803 774239
neil@holoschange.com
http://www.holoschange.com

Posted in Business, coaching and training, Leadership, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

The trouble with Authentic Leadership

I had a meeting last week about coaching, the individual had recently been appointed to a leadership position in a large organisation, but were struggling with “Impostor Syndrome” in showing leadership in the prevailing organisational culture.

What this conversation and potentially the coaching relates to is a highly authentic individual struggling to self identify as a leader in a highly “boss style” culture.

I am increasingly of the belief that many, perhaps even most leaders are in fact authentic, but due to the prevailing culture and a lack of support, training or understanding, they show up as boss style leaders.

Let me explain.

Boss style leaders are those who are primarily motivated by status.  They get their status conferred on them from above and are loyal to those who give them status.  They, in turn, gain loyalty by conferring status on those below them.  Boss style leaders are not good at collaborating unless it helps to build their status or that of their own boss.  Boss style leaders are good at getting things done, but they only achieve results by stealing from the future.

Authentic leaders are those primarily motivated by purpose they create results by aligning teams and getting the best out of people by creating an environment where they can be the best version of themselves.  They create environments of psychological safety and trust where it is safe to experiment and be vulnerable.  Authentic leaders can take longer to achieve things, but the results are sustainable.

Boss style leaders don’t recognise authentic leaders as leaders at all.  They see them as weak.

So – if you are, at heart an authentic style leader, but all of your role models are boss style, it is not surprising if you don’t think of yourself as a leader.  It is also not surprising if, in the absence of alternative input and appointed to a leadership position, a natural, but uncertain authentic leader would adopt boss style behaviours, especially if other bosses around them dismissed authentic leadership as weak.

Our path to authentic leadership is therefore challenging.  In many places the existing leadership culture is actively resistant to it, there are few role models and it is not always easy to find teachers.

What helps is to focus on purpose.  What is it that you are really trying to achieve – your vision?  And why is that important to you – your purpose?

As long as your purpose can be aligned to that of your organisation you can lead authentically in it.  The next step is to think about how you need to be in order to deliver on that purpose and vision.

As long as you can get your team to follow, this forms the basis of your leadership – the “why” and the “what” with the behavioural part of the “how”.  This is the framework that you need to embody and keep explaining – What, we are trying to achieve.  Why, is it important.  How, we need to be in order to deliver it.  As the leader you don’t need to be the author of any of this, but you do need to make sure it is clear and that the team are aligned around it.

The team can then work out  and own the mechanics of the strategy to achieve it.  While you, as the leader encourage, stay out of the way, provide “air cover” and look out for the future.

Holos helps make change easy. We help organisations develop their leaders, map out and deliver the changes required to achieve sustained success even in a highly disrupted environment.

At Holos we have been studying change leadership and leadership training in the crucible of reality for years. We know what great leadership looks like and we know the journey to achieve it. We have developed a suite of diagnostic tools to understand where companies and teams are on this journey and how to take them from there to sustained success.

Holos has a wealth of specialist leadership and culture coaches and consultants with decades of experience working with a huge variety of leaders. Holos can help you or your organisation to upgrade it’s leadership to flourish even in a challenging business environment.

Please share your ideas, comment and discuss here – click on the blog title and scroll to the bottom to find the comment box.

You can subscribe for free at http://www.holoschange.com,

Best

neil

Neil Crofts
Co-Founder
Holos

+447803 774239
neil@holoschange.com
http://www.holoschange.com

 

 

 

 

Posted in authenticity, Leadership | Leave a comment

Seven Steps to story telling for influence

We were working with two senior leaders in an organisation recently.  One of these leaders inspired loyalty and appeared to be able to influence change whenever required.  The other had an apparently disciplined team, however whenever they would try to create change it would be met with resistance and disquiet.

What  was it that marked out the difference in their approach and lead to the difference in results?

There is a common misconception that positions of authority, such as management or leadership confer control.

They don’t.

Control is an illusion.

Think about it.  Who, the world, do we have the most control over?

Ourselves.

Do we really have control over ourselves? What we eat, what we think, how much exercise we do?  If we don’t have control over ourselves, how could we possibly have control over others?

At best we have influence.  It is true that people in positions of authority can have a great deal of influence.  Anyone who was successful at school (most people who work in large organisations are selected because they were successful at school) are strongly programmed to conformity and obedience.  Success at school is still heavily dependent on waiting to be told what to do by a teacher and then doing what the teacher asks, without question.  (This is not good for learning initiative or leadership.)

So, certainly in organisations which recruit those who were successful at school there is the potential to influence behaviour.  However many attempts at influencing changes in behaviour fail – why?

We  tend to move towards what we love and away from what we fear.  We can use both to influence although love is usually a more sustainable and powerful motivator than fear.

Crucially we are seldom influenced by purely rational information.  We are much more likely to be influenced by a combination of emotional and rational elements.  Storytelling is the model for influencing that is as old as humanity and yet we very often forget to use it in organisational situations.

Here are seven steps to story telling for organisational influence:

1 – Who is your audience?  Be very clear about who you need to influence.  What are their drivers.  What are the choices they have already made in life?  Where do they live?  What did they study?  What hobbies or interests do they have?  In some cases it will be an individual in other cases a group.  Sometimes you will be able to do your research and actually answer these questions in others you will have to make educated guesses.  The exercise is to build up a profile of the individual or type of individual you seek to influence so that you can tailor the story to their hot buttons.

2 – What outcome are you looking for?  Be as specific as you can be about the changes in behaviour or thinking that you want people or individuals to make as a result of hearing the story.

3 – Get very clear on the context.  Why does this change need to happen?  What will happen if the change is not made?  What will happen if it works really well?  What are the vision (destination) and purpose of the change?  What, specifically, is the change you believe is needed?

4 – What are the relevant examples, metaphors or analogies that turn this from a message into a story?  For many of us brought up on a diet of left brain thinking this is the difficult bit.  How can you bring this to life in a way that your target audience will connect with?  Think about examples from your own experience, from history, fiction, sports or any where else that might fit it.  Prioritise analogies that appeal to your audience rather than yourself.

5 – Get clear about your own role.  In classic storytelling language are you the hero, the villain or the guardian?  Are you there to save the day, to bring bad news or protect?  How can you demonstrate or communicate your own challenges and commitment to the change?  How can you show vulnerability and therefore build trust?

6 – Build the story.   Put these components together into a compelling and inspiring story.  Avoid jargon and be sure to use sensory words that connect at an emotional level – like passion, nurture, care, love.

7 – Practice.  Stories are always more engaging when they flow well and appear natural.  If you are not a practiced storyteller, practice.  Tell the same story to as many individuals as you can before you share it with your intended audience.

Remarkably a video of one of the very best business leaders telling a story at the point where he really matured as a visionary integral leader exists and it is well worth watching.  Notice how he starts by communicating his own commitment.  Notice how he avoids blaming the audience and how he delivers a message of a shocking level of change in a way that inspires.

The difference between the two leaders at the beginning of this story?  The former routinely used stories, the latter was hyper rational and tried to use his positional authority.

Holos helps make change easy. We help organisations develop their leaders, map out and deliver the changes required to achieve sustained success even in a highly disrupted environment.

At Holos we have been studying change leadership and leadership training in the crucible of reality for years. We know what great leadership looks like and we know the journey to achieve it. We have developed a suite of diagnostic tools to understand where companies and teams are on this journey and how to take them from there to sustained success.

Holos has a wealth of specialist leadership and culture coaches and consultants with decades of experience working with a huge variety of leaders. Holos can help you or your organisation to upgrade it’s leadership to flourish even in a challenging business environment.

Please share your ideas, comment and discuss here – click on the blog title and scroll to the bottom to find the comment box.

You can subscribe for free at http://www.holoschange.com,

Best

neil

Neil Crofts
Co-Founder
Holos

+447803 774239
neil@holoschange.com
http://www.holoschange.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Calling all Authentic Integral Leaders

Humanity is in a pretty challenging space right now.  We face genuinely existential threats from climate change and other environmental damage, that we have created and yet we continue to focus more on what divides us that what could unite us.

Our crisis is one of leadership.  Do we continue to train, elect, select and promote leaders motivate the worst in us and divide us, or do we choose different leaders, those who inspire the best in us and unite us?

Any crisis gets as deep as it needs to get for people to learn the lesson.

We only have the possibility to transcend or succumb to any challenge – until we don’t anymore.

If humanity is to transcend the crisis of our wilful destruction of our life supporting biosphere we have to start training, electing, selecting and promoting a very different kind of leader.

Our desire to avoid personal responsibility leads us to choosing leaders who promise that they know the answers to the problems that really matter and that they are the ones to solve them.  Inevitably this means that the problems we end up addressing, with varying levels of success, are simple and the proposed solutions are short term.  Generally these solutions themselves steal from the future and thus create more problems than they solve.

Whereas the real problems we face are “wicked problems”, solutions are complex and multifaceted and require large scale alignment and behaviour change to solve.

Most of the leaders we tend to choose are not competent to solve these problems so they distract our attention onto seemingly solvable issues like immigration or religious differences.  Even articulating these things as problems is counter productive, but it gets them elected.

Humanity is like a species in it’s teens, just wanting to focus on our own gangs and pleasure, unwilling to even consider the long term.  We urgently need to grow up.

Consistent with these being wicked problems we don’t know the solution, but we do know the answer.

The answer is universal integral authentic leaders.  A massive upgrade in leadership across all areas of society – education, business, public services, charities, government, military, science and religion.

Authentic leadership  means knowing yourself and being it skilfully in all situations AND empowering followers by creating the kind of psychological safety that enables them to be authentic too.

Integral leadership means inspiring followers by honouring all life and the past and future.

Authentic Integral leadership aligns us to solve wicked problems that might imperil the future of life, by inspiring the best in us and using the lessons from history.

The irony for those who would seek enrichment by the conventional means of extraction or exploitation is that the potential from an authentic integral approach is far higher.  Businesses that use the authentic integral approach create value for the future (rather than stealing from it) and therefore have the potential to generate sustained success.

Holos helps make change easy. We help organisations develop their leaders, map out and deliver the changes required to achieve sustained success even in a highly disrupted environment.

At Holos we have been studying change leadership and leadership training in the crucible of reality for years. We know what great leadership looks like and we know the journey to achieve it. We have developed a suite of diagnostic tools to understand where companies and teams are on this journey and how to take them from there to sustained success.

Holos has a wealth of specialist leadership and culture coaches and consultants with decades of experience working with a huge variety of leaders. Holos can help you or your organisation to upgrade it’s leadership to flourish even in a challenging business environment.

Please share your ideas, comment and discuss here – click on the blog title and scroll to the bottom to find the comment box.

You can subscribe for free at http://www.holoschange.com,

PS – We at Holos have always take protection of data and privacy very seriously. We hold only your names and email addresses on this list which is held on AWeber and WordPress servers.

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Best

neil

Neil Crofts
Co-Founder
Holos

+447803 774239
neil@holoschange.com
http://www.holoschange.com

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in authenticity, Business, Leadership | Leave a comment

Keeping your head when all about you are losing theirs.

Hello and Happy New Year.  I found 2017 a challenging year.  I hope very much that 2018 can be better at the global level.  Climate Change seems to me to be an existential threat for humanity and yet we create political psychodrama side shows to distract us from the real challenges.  It would be great if, during 2018, we can come up with an improved version of political governance that enables us to run our countries (specifically the US and UK) for the long term security and benefit of all life.  Perhaps a system where our best minds are attracted to government and are deployed effectively to work out optimal solutions would be something to aim for?.

To start at the most granular level.  If we seek sustained success as individuals, as teams, as organisations or indeed as countries the key factor is what Google calls “Psychological Safety”.  Psychological Safety is what enables us all to be at our best and to collaborate most effectively, to be authentic.  Enabling us to be reliable in doing what we say we will do as well as being innovative and creative.  This is particularly important to success in times of fast paced change.

To do this we have to accept that control is an illusion, most of us have a hard enough time controlling our bodies, let alone other people or the situations we find ourselves in and to control our bodies we would first have to have control of our minds.  That leaves us with influence and the person we have most influence over is ourself and we have greater self influence when we have psychological safety than when we don’t, so we must start there.

The first steps in creating psychological safety are self awareness and emotional regulation.  By self awareness I mean both knowing ourself, our core motivations, the ways in which we are different and similar to others and also on a moment by moment basis, being aware of our emotional state.

Articulating our core motivations by truly understanding what is important to us and why is a good base.  We can work on this, articulating personal purpose, vision and values, on our own or with help from friends or a coach.  To understand where we are on various spectra (such as introversion to extroversion or attitudes to change for example) psychological profiling tools such as FIRO B, Change Style Indicator or Strength Deployment Inventory and there are many more, are useful to help us create a composite picture of how we fit in to society.

To be aware of our emotional state in the moment takes practice.  Like most things it is easy when things are relaxed and harder (and also more important) when the pressure is on. We can start by noticing our emotional state and putting language to it.  Noticing when you are calm or when you are agitated.  When you feel relaxed or when you feel anxious.  When things are relaxed you can probably do this in the moment already, when the pressure is on you may start by describing your state after the event.

The benefits come when we can identify our state in the moment when the pressure is on and choose what to do about it.  It is that ability to choose that will enable us to create our own psychological safety.

With our ability to create our own psychological safety, most of the time, comes our ability to be authentic, to be the very best version of ourselves, to be ourselves skilfully in a way that creates psychological safety for those around us and enables them to be authentic too.

Feeling psychologically safe and having those around us feel the same way, might seem like a bit of a first world luxury in a dynamic, fast paced environment, but look at it this way.  If we are leading a team or a business or a country, part of the role is to take decisions.  Every decision is a bit of a gamble, but the better the data we work with the greater the chances of success.  The more psychologically safe people feel the more likely we are to be transparent and honest.  The more transparent we are the better the quality of the data we share.  To put it bluntly if we are scared we are more likely to lie or adjust the data to protect ourselves, than if we don’t.

Our emotional state is a dynamic thing and however good we are at regulating our emotional state there will be times when we feel less psychologically safe and sometimes this is good and exciting.  Some of our best and most intense moments come when we are a bit on the edge.   I am not advocating for some kind of bland emotional neutrality.  Rather for us as individuals and those around us to always have the choice to be psychologically safe when we want to.  It is this choice that makes it safe for us to push the boundaries with innovations and creativity and it is innovation and creativity that is required to make the world a better place for all inhabitants.

Holos helps make change easy. We help organisations develop their leaders, map out and deliver the changes required to achieve sustained success even in a highly disrupted environment.

At Holos we have been studying change leadership and leadership training in the crucible of reality for years. We know what great leadership looks like and we know the journey to achieve it. We have developed a suite of diagnostic tools to understand where companies and teams are on this journey and how to take them from there to sustained success.

Holos has a wealth of specialist leadership and culture coaches and consultants with decades of experience working with a huge variety of leaders. Holos can help you or your organisation to upgrade it’s leadership to flourish even in a challenging business environment.

Please share your ideas, comment and discuss here – click on the blog title and scroll to the bottom to find the comment box.

You can subscribe for free at http://www.holoschange.com

neil

Neil Crofts
Co-Founder
Holos

+447803 774239
neil@holoschange.com
http://www.holoschange.com

 

 

Posted in authenticity, Leadership, personal development, society | Leave a comment

Wishing you all a very jolly Yule

Last week I did a talk for 80 bankers.

What image does that bring to mind?

We all have prejudices, biases, preconceived ideas and generalisations we apply to each other.  Some are just plain wrong and others are out of date.

With this particular group of bankers I was talking about the future and about the need for authentic leadership to create an environment of psychological safety and trust.  In fact virtually everyone in the room other than me was wearing a Christmas jumper and the atmosphere was very relaxed, open and engaged.

It was not so long ago that corporations in general and perhaps banks and oil companies in particular, were seen by many as a sort of global Grinch, exploiting everyone for their own ends.  While there was some truth in that, many of these organisations have learned tough lessons and today are seeing that the best results are delivered by people who feel trusted and who feel safe to be themselves.

Amid all of the evidence of sexual harassment and abuse in politics, entertainment and tech sectors these stories are not really coming from more conventional corporations.   Today these corporations are hotbeds of diversity and empowerment.  Of course there is still room to learn and improve, but the shift over the last 10 years has been substantial.

The key to success in any endeavour is collaboration and the key to collaboration is being able to build trusting and supportive relationships with those who are different to ourselves, those we might find a little annoying or those we might be tempted to exploit.

In this season of goodwill to all, how can each of us create that authentic safe space around us where everyone feels free to be their authentic self?  How can we hold our families, friends,colleagues and most importantly ourselves to complete inclusivity?

One of the tensions of “liberalism” is the intent to be tolerant of all views and to give all of them equal air time.  However, I read an interesting perspective recently, which is that the only thing it is right to not tolerate is intolerance.  If we want a community, society or world where everyone feels psychologically safe, we must all be intolerant of intolerance.  We must take it upon ourselves to call out bias, prejudice, abuse and bullying.  We must learn the skills to do this effectively and we must work hard on our own biases and prejudices.

Perhaps a good way to start is by identifying one person in our circle that we fail to include equally.  I am sure we all have one. And making a deliberate and consistent effort to include them.  Not just for the next few weeks, but all of the time.

Or perhaps there is someone in our circle who says or does things that make other people feel uncomfortable about themselves and maybe you can find a way to help them to understand the effects of their behaviour and help them to change it, skilfully.

Or perhaps you feel that you are excluded of find it difficult to be yourself in some situations.  Perhaps you can find a way to express your truth to those you feel excluded by or focus your time on environments where you feel safe and are included.

Over the last few years we have seen the effects of polarisation on the global stage.  If we do not want to live in a polarised world is is up to all of us to create an integral one.  We wish all of our readers and colleagues the most joyful and peaceful festive season and every happiness however you choose to celebrate.

Holos helps make change easy. We help organisations develop their leaders, map out and deliver the changes required to achieve sustained success even in a highly disrupted environment.

At Holos we have been studying change leadership and leadership training in the crucible of reality for years. We know what great leadership looks like and we know the journey to achieve it. We have developed a suite of diagnostic tools to understand where companies and teams are on this journey and how to take them from there to sustained success.

Holos has a wealth of specialist leadership and culture coaches and consultants with decades of experience working with a huge variety of leaders. Holos can help you or your organisation to upgrade it’s leadership to flourish even in a challenging business environment.

Please share your ideas, comment and discuss here – click on the blog title and scroll to the bottom to find the comment box.

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neil

Neil Crofts
Co-Founder
Holos

+447803 774239
neil@holoschange.com
http://www.holoschange.com

 

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