Developing Leaders that Operate from their Souls, not Ego
Is anything right with leadership today? I am totally overwhelmed by the number of people talking about the leadership crisis that we are currently experiencing. This is a global conversation that’s going on in both the public and private sector. The long-term forecast is it’s going to get much worse before it gets better, because of the actions that have brought us to the economic and socially responsible upheavals that cover our daily headlines.
When you see these words about leadership, what do you conclude:
When I think through this list I can’t help but create a mental image of a person (gender doesn’t matter) that has an enormous ego. And not the good kind of ego that’s associated with charisma or charm, but the bad type of ego that’s associated with jackass.
Are these words familiar to you? Would you use some or several of these words to describe a leader or culture that is impacting your life? Is it impacting your spouse or a friend? The chances are high that many of you may be able to describe the culture or a boss where you work with these words. That’s why so many talk about the leadership crisis.
How did Leadership get so Poor?
The opinions and reasons as to why leadership is so poor are numerous and varied. I really don’t want to spend a lot of effort in this debate or sharing my thoughts as to why. I would rather talk about how it’s your fault. What I mean is it’s your fault if you don’t do something different to affect the changes necessary to improve this leadership crisis.
Employees are demanding more out of work. More people are bypassing work in the best companies in the world, because they would rather work in the best companies for the world.
CEOs Call for a Dramatic Change in People Strategy
What this means is the leadership development programs of old that have produced the big egos described with the words above need to be demolished so we can produce leaders that connect and lead from their soul. In a recent study by PWC, CEOs that were surveyed stated they are demanding changes in their human capital strategies. Leadership development programs are top on this list.
Leading with Soul
When you lead with soul, you focus on building your awareness of your own and others’ needs. You then use this increased awareness to build better relationships with your employees (and peers). This approach provides exciting possibilities for leadership and employee engagement. It will deliver greater innovation, and workplace performance. And stronger and deeper relationships that contain limitless possibilities. Then, instead of using the words above to describe your work environment you’ll start using words like:
So what are you going to do?
You can affect these changes, if you want to. I mentioned above how it’s your fault if you don’t take action to affect the change. You are a leader. Regardless of your title, people look to see what your are doing (or not) at work. So from that perspective, what are you going to do to lead from your soul? You can lead the way or just be a follower and say, “I have too many things on my plate”, or some other excuse. You have a choice to make, it’s all yours. Creating an even better place to work, begins with you.