The Joy of Work

There are times when it might seem a bit of a stretch, but don’t forget, as Henry Ford once said “There is joy in work”

Those of us who are fortunate enough to have work as the world recovers from the latest iteration of the pandemic and the challenges it continues to set in our path, might simply want to keep our heads down, mourn our losses, count our blessings and carry on. Others may be struggling with the feeling of overwhelm at the relentlessness of the last eighteen months. And yet we continue to hear talk of recovery, of building back, but better than before. Is it even possible?

Looking back over a career which has seen me work as a family doctor, a trainer and teacher of doctors, and latterly, a leader of organizations operating in health and care , and a coach and mentor to folk who find themselves treading the same wonderful and risky path which I have trodden, I realise that I have been curious for a while about how, together, we can create the conditions in the workplace which enable those people who want to, to bring the whole of their passions and energy to life in the pursuit of a shared purpose.

It is evident, not just in the many words of others and research conducted, but from my own personal experience of supporting leaders, that the context has changed so utterly over the past eighteen months, and so indeed has the world of work.

You’re not human if you haven’t experienced on some scale, stress, anxiety, doubts and uncertainty. Many have undergone a re-evaluation of personal beliefs and values, a refreshing of our own purpose in life, our expectations and desires. All of which has had an impact on how we view our ‘work’.

The notion of ‘workplace’ for many has become confused and boundaries which once existed between work and life have blurred and become uncertain.

‘Joy’ might seem an unusual concept to entertain in the face of such uncertainty and if it was a difficult thing to feel when we were all together, how much more difficult might it be, when separated by distance? And after all, what is joy? And can we truly expect to experience joy at work?

Joy is a feeling and a knowing. When I imagine joy, I think of those moments of bliss, when the world is aligned and everything feels perfect. It’s that moment in the film ‘Billy Elliot’ when the lead character springs to life on stage, as he takes the role of the White Swan. He is a young boy from a coal mining community, breaking free of expectation, and finding his destiny – it is a moment of beauty, power and purpose.

The moment is a reminder for us all about the importance of knowing who we are and why we do what we do.

In 2017 the Institute for Healthcare Improvement published ‘A Framework for Improving Joy at Work’. It resonated with me at the time and has never been more relevant in today’s world. As a leader preparing for my annual appraisal, I invited everyone in the organization to respond to the following three questions: What should I do more of? What should I do less of? and How am I when I am at my best?. The responses were always enlightening – talk with us more, create more places where we can have conversations, listen to us, we have some really great ideas, keep reminding us about the difference we are making.

We should always remember that organizations which regard the creation of an environment in which joy at work is possible, not only recruit and retain their workforce more readily but they also enjoy higher levels of productivity and, in a health and care setting, deliver better experience of care and better outcomes of care.

The job now for any leader is this simple; creating and holding the time and the space together, into which we can listen to each other, learn together and remind ourselves of our common purpose.

Let’s not assume that we all know our common purpose. And let’s not assume that the purpose which we agreed last year, or five years ago, is the right purpose for now. Or that the values that we held on to dearly before are the right ones for now. The world has changed. The world needs to change more. This pandemic has reminded us of much that we knew before, but which we had not attended to properly. We need to spend time together, reminding ourselves about what we have learned, establishing new clarity in our purpose and values so that we can respond to what the world now needs us to do.

If you’d like to understand more about what your own purpose is, you can complete this free tutorial – ‘Understanding your Purpose’ recorded by Sarah Cave, Primeast.

One of the tools we employ when working with leaders and organizations to create leader alignment and in designing programs to support purposeful alignment in organizations is the PrimeFocus™ framework. You can complete the PrimeFocus™ self-assessment which will help you understand how your organization is faring with regards to having a clear vision and purpose and the related conditions needed to achieve your organization’s purpose. It will help you to surface some of the challenges and thinking so that you can begin conversations about purpose with leaders and colleagues in your organization.

How to Lead in a VUCA World

Much has been talked about the importance of leadership in the VUCA World. Indeed, I have explored this with numerous cohorts of learners over the last few years. What has always been interesting has been the discussion about the skills necessary to thrive in an environment when the traditional rules of engagement are degraded or no longer completely relevant.

Common VUCA Themes

Common themes which have emerged are:

I have recently read a fascinating article* written by Trevor Hudson (senior learning business partner for King, the games and entertainment specialists), in which he explores the idea of ‘organizational wisdom’. He defines this as the application of intelligence tempered with the influence of experience, and he sees its use as particularly helpful in the subversion of the ego in decision-making and in taking multiple perspectives when considering issues.

Characteristics of Good Leaders

Indeed, Hudson summarises the research he has done into the topic by suggesting that role-models of what he calls post-conventional leaders tend to display most or all of the following characteristics:

These capabilities when combined with my observations above form a compelling combination of attributes. The challenge that naturally follows in their acknowledgement is: how can organizations tap into these capabilities in a way which better protects them from unexpected, VUCA-style ‘hits?’; and how can individuals who display some or all of these attributes be developed to build on these strengths?

These are killer-questions, since individuals with this suite of capabilities are generally hard to identify: few organizations, for example, spend enough time pinpointing the real high-fliers in their management cadre, often preferring to make subjective judgements or role-wide decisions about who should attend development programs. Furthermore, the development of such individuals can take several years, which for many organizations does not deliver the expected ROI in a timely-enough fashion. Their development also requires the use of several complementary approaches including approaches like coaching, mentoring, work-secondment, the leadership of special projects and time out with peers to work on their self-awareness.

Finally, can any one organization really offer such personal development opportunities? Given the time and the variety of learning required, it may be that the personal journey of these post-conventional leaders will have to take place across several organizations and may also include a sabbatical.

This is a fascinating challenge for L&D experts; one which demands more attention than it seems currently to enjoy. Developing those leaders with the potential to navigate their organization and its people through the continuing choppy waters of uncertain times is, however, a critical imperative of our times.

Why the Leadership Journey Matters

From employee onboarding to fully fledged leaders

Through the centuries, psychological researchers have described development from infancy to adulthood as a series of stages. As we move through these stages, we gain greater consciousness of ourselves, others, and the world around us. These stages are in parallel with the leadership journey.

Why does the leadership journey matter?

Research shows that the stages of life exist in the same sequence in all cultures. By understanding where you are on this journey, you can make better progress on it.

With regards to your leadership journey, development moves from one stage to another. It takes practice and commitment. Without these traits you will not shift to the next level, and nor will your capability as a leader grow.

With regards to an organization, for it to grow it is necessary for its people to grow. Without personal development, organizational growth will be inhibited.

What are the stages of the leadership journey?

Robert Kegan, professor at Harvard Graduate School of Education, is at the forefront of stage development research and theory. He describes these in his Theory of the Evolution of Consciousness.

The first two of these stages describe the evolution from infant to child, in what is termed the ‘Egocentric Self’:

This development may be compared to the new hire starting, first being onboarded and completely focused on their own job and then, as they become more proficient, developing greater understanding of the organization and their role within it.

During this stage, just like infants need to be supported by their parents as they develop, employees should be challenged to take responsibility, and to differentiate themselves while integrating into the organizational culture.

Stage 3: The socialised (reactive) self

Having been given a foundation by parents, a child starts to develop an instrumental mind. They become well-functioning young adults and think more logically. They relate to others as unique people. Societal rules give them structure and they develop a sense of who they want to be.

At this stage of leadership development, a person should be supported to develop their sense of competition and compromise, with managers confirming progress and encouraging the young leader to consider the expectations, desires, needs, and capabilities of others.

Stage 4: The independent (creative) self

By this stage of development, people have developed the ability to think more abstractly. They link their feeling to internalised processes. How they are perceived by others becomes important, and acceptance is critical. They find support in mutually rewarding relationships and shared experiences.

On the leadership journey, this is where mentorship comes into its own. A mentor program will help the mentee by the experience of the mentor, while the mentor should also encourage the mentee to develop independent (and thoughtful) decision-making.

This transition can be difficult. It is necessary to let go of how you define yourself, and your actions become an authentic expression of your purpose. It is at this stage that you will start to understand your own power and encourage creativity and freedom in others. Only around a quarter of adults complete this transition.

Stage 5: The integral self

At this stage, people become curious. They have their own values and beliefs and take responsibility for their own actions. Instead of being a reason for their existence, relationships become a part of the world in which they exist.

This is the stage at which senior leaders should acknowledge the less senior leader’s independence and ability to self-regulate, and encourage further self-development as they head toward the echelons of leadership.

At this stage, leaders become community-oriented, vision becomes global, and sustainability becomes a long-term, common goal. This is often defined as servant leadership.

Stage 6: The sacred self

This stage is not often reached, and never before the age of forty. Now, leaders see beyond themselves, others, and connectivity systems. They recognize their interdependencies with others, and research suggests that spiritual practices such as meditation accelerate the leadership journey.

The true essence of the spirit of leadership is embodied in this stage. The self realises that “I am not the body, nor the mind.” It is here that you experience the world as one, with the leader demonstrating universal compassion.

It is extremely rare for leaders to transition this stage. When they do, their function becomes as global visionaries, ensuring that they act for the universal good.

To develop as a leader, shift your consciousness

As you develop through the stages of leadership, you will notice that you become increasingly self-aware. You’ll also find that your view of the world evolves. The gradual transformation develops your identity, your values and beliefs, and your relationships.

At its most potent, leadership is not about compelling others to fall into line with how we think. It is about enabling dialogue, remaining open to new ideas, finding understanding, accommodating differences, and exploring possibilities. Where conflict exists, it is used as a springboard for transformation.

Where are your leaders on the path of their leadership journey? Our Scaling Talent Portfolio is designed to develop skills and talent across your organization.

Primeast’s approach to developing customised leadership programs is based on the principles of adult development theory with the learning experience designed to develop not just the skills needed but the mindset needed, encouraging a shift in adult development stages.

To find out more about how we can help you unlock the talent and potential within your organization and accelerate your organizational transformation, get in touch.

Email the team direct at [email protected].

Transformational Leadership in the VUCA World

The Secret to Successful Transformational Leadership in the VUCA World

Shifting Mindsets to Lead Your VUCA Approach

In the VUCA world (volatile, uncertain, complex, ambiguous) – in which we live, work, and play in an environment that is volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous – traditional leadership is failing. Not only does the top-down approach fail to adapt to the technological world of work, but it also fails to consider that today’s employees are more autonomous and independent, and their expectations are higher than ever before.

This poses a problem for organizations. Many leaders reach senior positions because of their technical performance or skills. Only once at this level do they realise that they might lack the people skills which are critical to be a good leader today.

To inspire trust, belief, and commitment in employees, it is necessary to approach the VUCA world with a VUCAR response framework (vision, understanding, capabilities, agility, resilience). To do this and develop people with the vision, understanding, capability, agility, and resilience they need to thrive in a world that is constantly changing, leaders need to adopt a transformational style of leadership.

What is transformational leadership?

Because leaders must develop their teams to scale and grow businesses, so they must turn their attention to doing this with their teams. They must accept it’s no longer about them and their performance as a technician, but crucial to develop teams and build strength across an organization. This is where transformational leadership comes in.

Transformational leadership is leadership that is aimed at developing the leaders’ and followers’ mental models of the world, their emotional intelligence, self-confidence, and their feelings of efficacy or capability to make a difference in their lives and those around them.

Preparing for the future of work

It is said that the future of the workforce will be in jobs that have not even been invented yet. For this, we must develop skills for roles that are as yet unknown to us. This could be a strategy for us to invest in developing skills which are hard to automate. With these new skills, people will be able to adapt and survive better in this changing world.

The Need for a Shift in Learning Models for Personal Growth

If we want our people to be successful, they need to be able to handle change. They also need to have the right skillset, so they are not in a constant state of fear or panic.

One of the main differences between traditional and transformational leadership is the learning model that we adopt as leaders. We need to stop teaching people what to think and start teaching people how to think.

Therefore, we must emphasise experimentation, new ideas, and creativity. Not creativity in the artistic sense of the word, but to unlock a growth mindset which allows leaders and their people to think and behave in a more agile manner, adapting and growing rather than instructing and doing.

These skills used to be called ‘soft skills’ but to meet the future head on, these have become critical skills. All we can do and must do, is adapt, change, embrace etc.

Designing for the principle of adult development

Traditional leadership relies on people learning and behaving according to the theory of a socialised mind. This theory says that the actions and decisions of an individual are heavily influenced by others, such as friends and family, society, managers, and colleagues.

Yet, the last year has accelerated the shift of what is important to people – purpose, values, connecting, and autonomy. This requires an entirely different approach.

Applying the principle of adult development, we can shift leadership to help people develop self-authoring minds. By helping people discover and improve how to think, they will develop deeper emotional intelligence to upgrade their internal operating system rather than simply adding new technical skills. This outcome applies equally to leaders and their people. It helps develop the VUCAR response that is needed to be successful not only in today’s volatile world, but also in the uncertain future.

Transform your leadership capability

Today’s leaders must develop their own self-awareness to practice transformational leadership successfully. This can be a difficult journey, for it involves ‘looking in a mirror’ to increase the self-awareness necessary to change long-held limiting beliefs.

Only with this shift in mindset can the leader be present, aware, and mindful. It is this level of creative consciousness that allows the leader to have the positive impact with their people that is needed to deliver the VUCAR response to the VUCA world in which businesses operate today. For more information, click on the following links:

Learn how we design our approach to your leadership development needs

Read about the Leadership Circle

Complete the Leadership Assessment

Contact us for a free consultation

The Joy of Work

There are times when it might seem a bit of a stretch, but don’t forget, as Henry Ford once said “There is joy in work”

Those of us who are fortunate enough to have work as the world recovers from the latest iteration of the pandemic and the challenges it continues to set in our path, might simply want to keep our heads down, mourn our losses, count our blessings and carry on. Others may be struggling with the feeling of overwhelm at the relentlessness of the last eighteen months. And yet we continue to hear talk of recovery, of building back, but better than before. Is it even possible?

Looking back over a career which has seen me work as a family doctor, a trainer and teacher of doctors, and latterly, a leader of organisations operating in health and care , and a coach and mentor to folk who find themselves treading the same wonderful and risky path which I have trodden, I realise that I have been curious for a while about how, together, we can create the conditions in the workplace which enable those people who want to, to bring the whole of their passions and energy to life in the pursuit of a shared purpose.

It is evident, not just in the many words of others and research conducted, but from my own personal experience of supporting leaders, that the context has changed so utterly over the past eighteen months, and so indeed has the world of work.

You’re not human if you haven’t experienced on some scale, stress, anxiety, doubts and uncertainty. Many have undergone a re-evaluation of personal beliefs and values, a refreshing of our own purpose in life, our expectations and desires. All of which has had an impact on how we view our ‘work’.

The notion of ‘workplace’ for many has become confused and boundaries which once existed between work and life have blurred and become uncertain.

‘Joy’ might seem an unusual concept to entertain in the face of such uncertainty and if it was a difficult thing to feel when we were all together, how much more difficult might it be, when separated by distance? And after all, what is joy? And can we truly expect to experience joy at work?

Joy is a feeling and a knowing. When I imagine joy, I think of those moments of bliss, when the world is aligned and everything feels perfect. It’s that moment in the film ‘Billy Elliot’ when the lead character springs to life on stage, as he takes the role of the White Swan. He is a young boy from a coal mining community, breaking free of expectation, and finding his destiny – it is a moment of beauty, power and purpose.

The moment is a reminder for us all about the importance of knowing who we are and why we do what we do.

In 2017 the Institute for Healthcare Improvement published ‘A Framework for Improving Joy at Work’. It resonated with me at the time and has never been more relevant in today’s world. As a leader preparing for my annual appraisal, I invited everyone in the organisation to respond to the following three questions: What should I do more of? What should I do less of? and How am I when I am at my best?. The responses were always enlightening – talk with us more, create more places where we can have conversations, listen to us, we have some really great ideas, keep reminding us about the difference we are making.

We should always remember that organisations which regard the creation of an environment in which joy at work is possible, not only recruit and retain their workforce more readily but they also enjoy higher levels of productivity and, in a health and care setting, deliver better experience of care and better outcomes of care.

The job now for any leader is this simple; creating and holding the time and the space together, into which we can listen to each other, learn together and remind ourselves of our common purpose.

Let’s not assume that we all know our common purpose. And let’s not assume that the purpose which we agreed last year, or five years ago, is the right purpose for now. Or that the values that we held on to dearly before are the right ones for now. The world has changed. The world needs to change more. This pandemic has reminded us of much that we knew before, but which we had not attended to properly. We need to spend time together, reminding ourselves about what we have learned, establishing new clarity in our purpose and values so that we can respond to what the world now needs us to do.

If you’d like to understand more about what your own purpose is, you can complete this free tutorial – ‘Understanding your Purpose’ recorded by Sarah Cave, Primeast.

One of the tools we employ when working with leaders and organisations to create leader alignment and in designing programmes to support purposeful alignment in organisations is the PrimeFocus™ framework. You can complete the PrimeFocus™ self-assessment which will help you understand how your organisation is faring with regards to having a clear vision and purpose and the related conditions needed to achieve your organisation’s purpose. It will help you to surface some of the challenges and thinking so that you can begin conversations about purpose with leaders and colleagues in your organisation.

How to Lead in a VUCA World

Much has been talked about the importance of leadership in the VUCA World. Indeed, I have explored this with numerous cohorts of learners over the last few years. What has always been interesting has been the discussion about the skills necessary to thrive in an environment when the traditional rules of engagement are degraded or no longer completely relevant.

Common VUCA Themes

Common themes which have emerged are:

I have recently read a fascinating article* written by Trevor Hudson (senior learning business partner for King, the games and entertainment specialists), in which he explores the idea of ‘organisational wisdom’. He defines this as the application of intelligence tempered with the influence of experience, and he sees its use as particularly helpful in the subversion of the ego in decision-making and in taking multiple perspectives when considering issues.

Characteristics of Good Leaders

Indeed, Hudson summarises the research he has done into the topic by suggesting that role-models of what he calls post-conventional leaders tend to display most or all of the following characteristics:

These capabilities when combined with my observations above form a compelling combination of attributes. The challenge that naturally follows in their acknowledgement is: how can organisations tap into these capabilities in a way which better protects them from unexpected, VUCA-style ‘hits?’; and how can individuals who display some or all of these attributes be developed to build on these strengths?

These are killer-questions, since individuals with this suite of capabilities are generally hard to identify: few organisations, for example, spend enough time pinpointing the real high-fliers in their management cadre, often preferring to make subjective judgements or role-wide decisions about who should attend development programmes. Furthermore, the development of such individuals can take several years, which for many organisations does not deliver the expected ROI in a timely-enough fashion. Their development also requires the use of several complementary approaches including approaches like coaching, mentoring, work-secondment, the leadership of special projects and time out with peers to work on their self-awareness.

Finally, can any one organisation really offer such personal development opportunities? Given the time and the variety of learning required, it may be that the personal journey of these post-conventional leaders will have to take place across several organisations and may also include a sabbatical.

This is a fascinating challenge for L&D experts; one which demands more attention than it seems currently to enjoy. Developing those leaders with the potential to navigate their organisation and its people through the continuing choppy waters of uncertain times is, however, a critical imperative of our times.

Why the Leadership Journey Matters

From employee onboarding to fully fledged leaders

Through the centuries, psychological researchers have described development from infancy to adulthood as a series of stages. As we move through these stages, we gain greater consciousness of ourselves, others, and the world around us. These stages are in parallel with the leadership journey.

Why does the leadership journey matter?

Research shows that the stages of life exist in the same sequence in all cultures. By understanding where you are on this journey, you can make better progress on it.

With regards to your leadership journey, development moves from one stage to another. It takes practice and commitment. Without these traits you will not shift to the next level, and nor will your capability as a leader grow.

With regards to an organisation, for it to grow it is necessary for its people to grow. Without personal development, organisational growth will be inhibited.

What are the stages of the leadership journey?

Robert Kegan, professor at Harvard Graduate School of Education, is at the forefront of stage development research and theory. He describes these in his Theory of the Evolution of Consciousness.

The first two of these stages describe the evolution from infant to child, in what is termed the ‘Egocentric Self’:

This development may be compared to the new hire starting, first being onboarded and completely focused on their own job and then, as they become more proficient, developing greater understanding of the organisation and their role within it.

During this stage, just like infants need to be supported by their parents as they develop, employees should be challenged to take responsibility, and to differentiate themselves while integrating into the organisational culture.

Stage 3: The socialised (reactive) self

Having been given a foundation by parents, a child starts to develop an instrumental mind. They become well-functioning young adults and think more logically. They relate to others as unique people. Societal rules give them structure and they develop a sense of who they want to be.

At this stage of leadership development, a person should be supported to develop their sense of competition and compromise, with managers confirming progress and encouraging the young leader to consider the expectations, desires, needs, and capabilities of others.

Stage 4: The independent (creative) self

By this stage of development, people have developed the ability to think more abstractly. They link their feeling to internalised processes. How they are perceived by others becomes important, and acceptance is critical. They find support in mutually rewarding relationships and shared experiences.

On the leadership journey, this is where mentorship comes into its own. A mentor programme will help the mentee by the experience of the mentor, while the mentor should also encourage the mentee to develop independent (and thoughtful) decision-making.

This transition can be difficult. It is necessary to let go of how you define yourself, and your actions become an authentic expression of your purpose. It is at this stage that you will start to understand your own power and encourage creativity and freedom in others. Only around a quarter of adults complete this transition.

Stage 5: The integral self

At this stage, people become curious. They have their own values and beliefs and take responsibility for their own actions. Instead of being a reason for their existence, relationships become a part of the world in which they exist.

This is the stage at which senior leaders should acknowledge the less senior leader’s independence and ability to self-regulate, and encourage further self-development as they head toward the echelons of leadership.

At this stage, leaders become community-oriented, vision becomes global, and sustainability becomes a long-term, common goal. This is often defined as servant leadership.

Stage 6: The sacred self

This stage is not often reached, and never before the age of forty. Now, leaders see beyond themselves, others, and connectivity systems. They recognise their interdependencies with others, and research suggests that spiritual practices such as meditation accelerate the leadership journey.

The true essence of the spirit of leadership is embodied in this stage. The self realises that “I am not the body, nor the mind.” It is here that you experience the world as one, with the leader demonstrating universal compassion.

It is extremely rare for leaders to transition this stage. When they do, their function becomes as global visionaries, ensuring that they act for the universal good.

To develop as a leader, shift your consciousness

As you develop through the stages of leadership, you will notice that you become increasingly self-aware. You’ll also find that your view of the world evolves. The gradual transformation develops your identity, your values and beliefs, and your relationships.

At its most potent, leadership is not about compelling others to fall into line with how we think. It is about enabling dialogue, remaining open to new ideas, finding understanding, accommodating differences, and exploring possibilities. Where conflict exists, it is used as a springboard for transformation.

Where are your leaders on the path of their leadership journey? Our Scaling Talent Portfolio is designed to develop skills and talent across your organisation.

Primeast’s approach to developing customised leadership programmes is based on the principles of adult development theory with the learning experience designed to develop not just the skills needed but the mindset needed, encouraging a shift in adult development stages.

To find out more about how we can help you unlock the talent and potential within your organisation and accelerate your organisational transformation, get in touch.

Email the team direct at [email protected].

Transformational Leadership in the VUCA World

The Secret to Successful Transformational Leadership in the VUCA World

Shifting Mindsets to Lead Your VUCA Approach

In the VUCA world (volatile, uncertain, complex, ambiguous) – in which we live, work, and play in an environment that is volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous – traditional leadership is failing. Not only does the top-down approach fail to adapt to the technological world of work, but it also fails to consider that today’s employees are more autonomous and independent, and their expectations are higher than ever before.

This poses a problem for organisations. Many leaders reach senior positions because of their technical performance or skills. Only once at this level do they realise that they might lack the people skills which are critical to be a good leader today.

To inspire trust, belief, and commitment in employees, it is necessary to approach the VUCA world with a VUCAR response framework (vision, understanding, capabilities, agility, resilience). To do this and develop people with the vision, understanding, capability, agility, and resilience they need to thrive in a world that is constantly changing, leaders need to adopt a transformational style of leadership.

What is transformational leadership?

Because leaders must develop their teams to scale and grow businesses, so they must turn their attention to doing this with their teams. They must accept it’s no longer about them and their performance as a technician, but crucial to develop teams and build strength across an organisation. This is where transformational leadership comes in.

Transformational leadership is leadership that is aimed at developing the leaders’ and followers’ mental models of the world, their emotional intelligence, self-confidence, and their feelings of efficacy or capability to make a difference in their lives and those around them.

Preparing for the future of work

It is said that the future of the workforce will be in jobs that have not even been invented yet. For this, we must develop skills for roles that are as yet unknown to us. This could be a strategy for us to invest in developing skills which are hard to automate. With these new skills, people will be able to adapt and survive better in this changing world.

The Need for a Shift in Learning Models for Personal Growth

If we want our people to be successful, they need to be able to handle change. They also need to have the right skillset, so they are not in a constant state of fear or panic.

One of the main differences between traditional and transformational leadership is the learning model that we adopt as leaders. We need to stop teaching people what to think and start teaching people how to think.

Therefore, we must emphasise experimentation, new ideas, and creativity. Not creativity in the artistic sense of the word, but to unlock a growth mindset which allows leaders and their people to think and behave in a more agile manner, adapting and growing rather than instructing and doing.

These skills used to be called ‘soft skills’ but to meet the future head on, these have become critical skills. All we can do and must do, is adapt, change, embrace etc.

Designing for the principle of adult development

Traditional leadership relies on people learning and behaving according to the theory of a socialised mind. This theory says that the actions and decisions of an individual are heavily influenced by others, such as friends and family, society, managers, and colleagues.

Yet, the last year has accelerated the shift of what is important to people – purpose, values, connecting, and autonomy. This requires an entirely different approach.

Applying the principle of adult development, we can shift leadership to help people develop self-authoring minds. By helping people discover and improve how to think, they will develop deeper emotional intelligence to upgrade their internal operating system rather than simply adding new technical skills. This outcome applies equally to leaders and their people. It helps develop the VUCAR response that is needed to be successful not only in today’s volatile world, but also in the uncertain future.

Transform your leadership capability

Today’s leaders must develop their own self-awareness to practice transformational leadership successfully. This can be a difficult journey, for it involves ‘looking in a mirror’ to increase the self-awareness necessary to change long-held limiting beliefs.

Only with this shift in mindset can the leader be present, aware, and mindful. It is this level of creative consciousness that allows the leader to have the positive impact with their people that is needed to deliver the VUCAR response to the VUCA world in which businesses operate today. For more information, click on the following links:

Learn how we design our approach to your leadership development needs

Read about the Leadership Circle

Complete the Leadership Assessment

Contact us for a free consultation