You cannot change what you cannot see. As an Executive Coach and Culture Consultant, I have the pleasure of taking deep dives – with leaders into themselves, and with leadership teams into their organizational culture.
I love this aspect of my work. When on the journey with leaders, patterns become apparent and a change path is developed. Conscious leadership and culture shift can only be moved when there is room for discovery, feedback, and the willingness to move forward through discomfort.
It is worth reflecting on the great ideas and discoveries that leadership theory has provided in the last 80 years. Let’s journey through highlights of significant leadership theories.
As you review each new insight, reflect on your journey and leadership style. Allow the awareness to help you move from an unconscious to a conscious leadership state. Know and declare your intentional leadership style and the culture that will lead to success for all.
Maslow Hierarchy of Needs
Eighty years ago, Maslow taught us that human beings have a hierarchy of needs, and lower-level needs must be met before moving to higher level of needs.
This early idea is still very powerful in today’s work environment. As a leader, are you aware of the best way to “feed” your staff’s lower level needs? Are you meeting those needs in organizational/HR policies and in your engagement with them as a leader? Are lower level needs getting in the way of full potential?
Theory X and Y
Douglas McGregor shared the insight that managers can fall into one of two styles: authoritarian (Theory X) and participative (Theory Y).
In my 32 years as an HR practitioner, I have observed different senior leaders on the same leadership team lead from these two dissimilar approaches. It sends mixed signals to the staff on “how to be” in the culture and what successful leadership looks like.
Know how you come across and make conscious decisions on the leader you want to be going forward. In affecting organizational culture, all it takes is one senior leader to lead from a different perspective to impact others. Gain clarity on the style that will nurture the culture and staff. Understand how you instinctively lead. Do you say that you want empowerment yet lead from an authoritarian style? We offer valuable insight into how leaders are seen by others through electronic and interview 360 feedback.
7 Habits of Effective People
In 1989, Stephen Covey introduced the new idea that change begins from within and then moves outward. The powerful idea of “first seek to understand and then be understood” provided the insight that listening to others is critical for leadership success.
These 7 habits were great approaches to leading back then, and they still apply today. If you have not reviewed the habits recently, explore your strengths and the areas where you can “sharpen the saw”.
5 Dysfunctions of a Team
Patrick Lencioni introduced the big idea that trust is a key ingredient in successful teams. Without it, dysfunction remains. He created a roadmap that teams of all sizes can use to improve effectiveness.
At the top of the pyramid is attention to results, and we know that leadership approaches only work if they get results. The ideas of trust, conflict, commitment, accountability and fundamentals to getting results still apply.
What is the trust level in your team? If your team is not getting the results needed, is it due to lack of trust, accountability or any of the other dysfunctions? We believe in the value of these ideas and offer this impactful training to organizations.
Developed by Kenneth Blanchard and Paul Hersey, the brilliant big idea was that managers cannot lead from one style in every situation.
The assumption in the past was that staff follow the leader as the leader is. Their idea was that the leader must adapt her style to fit the development level of the followers she is trying to influence.
Influence occurs through directing, coaching, supporting and delegating leadership approaches, and the style depends on the staff members’ competence and commitment with a task.
When you are working with your staff, do you have one style that they must adapt to or are you changing your leadership style to meet the needs of the staff member?
The Authentic Leader is defined through purpose, values, relationship, self-discipline, and heart. One big new idea provided by Bill George is that for leaders to be successful, they must be in touch with – and be able to lead from – the heart. Not being afraid to dig deep, authentic leaders lead their teams with courage and empathy.
Have you taken the steps needed to lead from your heart and empathy?
Brené spent 20 years studying courage, vulnerability, shame, and empathy. Some leadership principles include:
- You can’t get to courage without rumbling with vulnerability
- Self-awareness and self love matter
- Courage is contagious.
Brené gave leaders permission to be vulnerable and to have the courage to take risks. Thoughts, emotions, and behaviors that are used to protect ourselves affect our ability to be fully courageous in being the leader we are.
Are you willing to rumble with vulnerability and be more courageous?
This is a short tour of meaningful big leadership theories. What can you learn and put in place to fully become the conscious leader you desire to be?
Seek feedback from others, and look inside to understand your intentional and unintentional impact. Hire an executive coach to help you help yourself on the journey in becoming a conscious intentional leader and fully owning your impact on others. I will be sharing these ideas in an upcoming speaking engagement entitled Tying Conscious Leadership to Conscious Culture this March at HR West in Oakland.
What do you think? Where is your conscious leadership growth edge? Feel free to reach out to me at [email protected] with questions or for guidance through this process.