February 21, 2012

Say it like it is … the ‘whole’ truth

woman in meeting

I can talk about leadership development and companies can hire me as an executive coach to encourage more advanced and successful leadership but I may as well be a lorry driver (a secret fantasy of mine since the Yorkie advert era) and they may as well torch their people-investment spend if we can’t talk about the truth. The WHOLE truth. Here’s some of what I’ve been processing with various executives this week:

  • We’re definitely committed to your part in the company’s succession planning – but we are making a round of redundancies and it’s unconfirmed as to who’s in that mix
  • We value your experience and your results are unparalleled – however, we can’t invest further in your team to free you up to do what only you can do
  • It’s just the culture of the company – the systems are established and can’t be changed. It’s too big a conversation over too long a period to take advantage of the opportunity that’s presenting itself right in this moment

Here’s why change takes SO long to put in place in some large corporates … because even the finest leaders find it challenging to support a concept that may result in them losing their job!

I’m not saying that leaders, MDs, board members and directors don’t have exceptionally valuable experience to offer to the corporate mix … in the majority of cases, of course they do! But if you keep telling the story that ‘the next stage of how this company can serve its clients (readers, listeners, customers, patients, subscribers) has to be designed to keep me in the picture’ you may be limiting your service to the company, making decisions from a place of fear and lack as opposed to freedom and abundance.

The truth will set you free means that:

  • when you sense something is right and purposeful – trust that you will be respected and rewarded by speaking it out and boldly enabling the most enlightened solutions to come to pass
  • you may have to learn to communicate at a much higher level – and trust that chaos and ‘pruning’ are part of the process of developing a healthier, more flexible, transparent and authentic way of doing future business
  • you stand up and take action with 100% integrity – even when speaking out the tough parts requires humility – and by doing so, in today’s world of corporate leadership you will set yourself apart

I leave you with some word from one of the biggest rule breakers and new thinkers of our recent corporate business heritage, Steve Jobs:

“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma – which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of other’s opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.”

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