Look around at today’s top performing organizations you are involved with or can see behind the scenes and ask yourself, is that organization’s success due to a single individual’s leadership or group of individuals putting their minds together to focus? If your findings are anything like mine, you will observe that the top performers are led by a group of individuals putting their minds together, a network of leaders. So, my question is; “Why don’t we as leaders ask for help or take the teaming approach?”…
The common answers that come to mind are our pride, ego, fear-based programming, transactional constructs, and the list can go on. When we review the various teachings or programming of ourself as an individual, and how our organizations have come to be, we will see that there is a commonality. For the past decades, a transactional value and belief system has been the basis or build-up. We have framed our leaders to be iconic individuals to inspire, motivate, and set the course forward. As a person inspiring to be a leader, we have galvanized ourselves, and start thinking yes, I really do need to be the one to inspire, motivate and not only set the course forward but KNOW the course forward, KNOW what to do when any situation arrives. Why? Because that is what a leader does… that is who a leader is.
One of the biggest or most important responsibilities of a leader, supporting those who want to think and do in modern ways, or modernize their organization, is to provide a “psychologically safe” environment for failing fast to learn. Think of modernizing as changing or evolving thinking and doing from a transactional to transformational. I like to think of this as going from traditional static, serial, or waterfall to “dynamic” ways. Industry terms for “dynamic” can be Agile, DevOps, DevSecOps to name a few. So, my question for us to ponder is who, what, or where have we seen this concept of “psychologically safe” be applied to our leaders or those in charge?
The reason why I ask this question is because I can count on one hand the number of organizations, where the top leaders of the organization and the governing entities over that organization or the customer base of the organization, have created or are providing a “psychologically safe” environment for its leaders.
The reason why this is important is because we are in an unprecedented time in history from a leadership perspective. The past decades building up how we think and do were transactional-based, when today’s observations see a team or network of transformational-based leaders are the most successful. Depending upon your source, around 70% of the today’s leaders or those in the seat of power are transactional-based leaders. For leaders to evolve and transform themselves from transactional to transformational requires a learning phase, making mistakes, and learning by failing fast.
One very important way to speed up this learning process is for the leader to “Ask for help.” But hang on a minute, this goes against the grain. Realize that regardless if it is a leader’s internal way of thinking or doing, pride, ego, the organization, environment, policies…etc., that is preventing the leader from asking for help, this has to change. This brings us back to creating that “psychologically safe” environment and empowering our leaders to “ask for help.”
Is this hard for leaders to do? Absolutely and for many just reasons. In the end, it boils down to one very simple thing for the leader which is “trust.” Meaning who can a leader trust to open up to, to be able to ask the question, to be able to be vulnerable, to be able to say “I don’t know”… and so much more. Today’s leaders and organization’s who are expecting their leaders to think and do from an individual stance working from a transactional-based value and belief set or environment, will have a tough go. More and more leaders and their organizations are unlocking their true potential by thinking and doing as a team of networked transformational-based leaders.
We at the Catalyst Group are here to help, which is why we have created our real time on-demand service. We understand what it means and what it takes for the leader, the organization, the governing entities over the organization, the customer leaders and organization… basically your eco-system to evolve and transform to become transformational based. We create that “psychological safe” and confidential space where you can be you and truly focus on what you need to do to be the best leader you can be. We hope we have the opportunity to support you on your journey and look forward to hearing from you.
From John – This article was written from a TYIIR Part 1 – Individual & Part 2 – Team perspective. The corresponding “TYIIR Part 3 – Universal” perspective article titled “It Is Ok To Ask For Help” can be found by clicking here. Let the Transformation Journey begin!
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