Leadership Foundations: Pride vs. Humility

Each of our leadership styles are framed on a foundation shaped by personal experience, nurture, and learning. We have all picked up good and bad habits from those who have led us and we inevitably learn certain leadership skills in school, through informal reading, blogs, news, etc.

Have you ever thought, however, that there may be different foundations of leadership?

Different philosophies that take you in different directions?

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Toxic Culture: The Need for Healthy Work Environments

If you were suddenly dropped onto a different planet – say Venus or Mars – how long would you live without a spacesuit? Maybe 4-5 minutes? Less if you can’t hold your breath very long or the atmosphere was too toxic?

Let’s try another one – how long would you be able to live in Dzerzinsk, Russia – known as one of the most polluted cities in the world? The average life span is 45 years! It sounds obvious, but…

Atmosphere affects our breathing, which affects our living.

The same is true for organizational cultures – they are an atmosphere. Some cultures (aka atmospheres) can choke people in a matter of minutes. Other cultures tend to degrade and “kill” people over months or years. Pretty much all negative cultures come with a “hazardous materials”  risk for employee well-being. Others, however, remain free and clear and produce effective, long-term health and prosperity.

We have have seen organizations exemplifying all three scenarios. As a company devoted to helping plant, water, and cultivate healthy organizational culture, our team is always working hard to create its own atmosphere of positive growth, fruitfulness, and productivity.

“The culture is the atmosphere.”

Culture = Atmosphere

So, which atmosphere are you experiencing?

Are you currently in the Venus atmosphere where you can’t breathe for even a minute?

Or are you in a smoggy atmosphere, where you know your health is declining over time?

Or maybe you are thriving in your environment with clean air and plenty of sunshine in your culture.

Thinking of culture as atmosphere is interesting. In a city full of smog you can usually trace the smog back to certain political and business decisions that enable such issues, or it may otherwise result from specific geographic realities within certain areas.

The same is true within organizations. Certain leaders and leadership decisions can lead to a divisive culture built on short-term fear to produce results. If you are an employee then you can only rely on your influence to clean up areas of leadership pollution. However, if you are a leader in some capacity, you have the opportunity (formal or informal) to clean up or establish the right atmosphere in which your people can live and thrive.

Removing the Toxins

Think about the economic and social implications for cities with horrible pollution and the astronomical costs it incurs to care for its ailing citizens. Now imagine the same implications for companies with bad atmospheres – lack of productivity, divisive drama, high turnover, and demoralized employees.

The best thing you can do as a leader is commit to a clean up.

Dedicate yourself to liberation, health, and a vibrant atmosphere at work. Let’s work today to change atmospheres for everyone’s benefit.

Your culture is an atmosphere, how well are you breathing?

 

If you’re interested in learning more about how your company atmosphere (culture) affects your organizational health, we’re happy to schedule a meeting to discuss. Just click the contact button and let us know!

Countering Change: Make It Your Own

When change occurs, instability follows.

Unfortunately, that means it can take a while to settle into a new normal. Some change is hard, while other times change brings new excitement.

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3 Goals for a Healthier Organization

Just as Rome wasn’t built in a day, neither will the organization or team you lead reach its ideal healthy culture overnight…

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It’s Time…To Make the Difficult Decision

It’s time.

Time to make the difficult decision that you don’t want to make, but know you need to…

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Words That Heal and Words That Steal

“Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.”

While viewed by many as a reminder to be “tough” and to not give the words of others more power than they are due, the fact is that this long-standing bit of wisdom is simply not true.

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The Art of Transition: How to Anticipate and Handle Change Well

Is it possible to anticipate change as you envision the next season of life? Do you constantly feel like you’re grinding gears in the face of difficult transitions? 

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Thinker vs. Feeler: How People’s Oughts and Shoulds Affect Performance

Ever wonder why you never quite got along with friends of the same gender? Maybe you’re frustrated by the expectations people place on you because of your personality, workplace, or job. Join us as we explore some of those frustrations and discuss how you can better understand your colleagues in order to avoid making the same assumptions.

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Leadership Landmarks: What Do You Represent?

Big Ben is a landmark.

It’s a powerful symbol of an important city with a storied history.

Whenever we see a landmark, inevitable associations pop into our minds. For example, when we see the Eiffel Tower, our thoughts might wander to French bread, crepes, and the enchanting streets of Paris.

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Does Your Business Need a Leadership Development Reboot?

Leadership development is one of the most talked about and written about subjects on the planet. It is also the most misunderstood and, often, most neglected area of competency in organizations. In a work world largely populated with leaders who spend excessive amounts of time managing the inevitable and fostering the unremarkable, there is little time left to spend understanding their team’s genuine development needs.

Rather than being intentional and equipping teams with the leadership tools they need to succeed, many managers float along with the misguided illusion that individual and team growth just happens. And they wonder, when the dynamics are off and productivity hits the skids, “Why?”

Floating — the kind enjoyed in a calm, blue ocean — may be desirable on vacation, but in business, where a competitive advantage is desired and success and growth are important, it’s dangerous. You’d never float your finances and expect to get ahead. So why do we think it’s okay to do that with the most valuable resources in a business, the human ones?

morningbreak

Float along here all you want, but don’t try that with your teams at work. Photo courtesy of Jay Mantri.

Here’s the reality: our people and their performance can’t be left to casual coincidence. What becomes necessary, then, is a reboot in how we view leadership development: rather than being the nice “extra” we focus on when we have the time, we must view leadership development as essential to our overall success. Read more