People have low trust in Leaders. Gallup’s research shows that a staggering 87% of employees worldwide are not engaged. Moreover, managers account for at least 70% of the variance in employee engagement scores; 51% of employees are actively looking for a new job or watching for new job openings. Also, we say, people are not leaving the company; they are leaving their managers and leaders. We have all these high expectations about things. Leaders will have to lead differently and better. Yesterday it was all about different leadership styles and competencies. Today it is all about energy and consciousness. The tone of comments about leaders frequently have judgemental energy, and it feels like it’s the leaders’ fault. However, is it?
Working with companies on Culture Transformation Processes, Leadership, and Employee development, I realized that to find solutions for the pressing problems that we are facing in organizations, we need to suspend our judgments and open our horizons to see a bigger picture.
So what is this bigger picture?
The name of the game
We live in a system in which constant growth is imperative. It is the name of the game. Demands are exceeding our capacities. Demands are a good enough reason for neglecting our own human needs. Demands are the good enough reason for not taking care of the quality of our society and the ones that are not able to run faster. Demands are a good enough reason for poisoning our nature and planet. The ethic of “faster, more, bigger“ is influencing all dimensions of our life on this planet. In a “dog eat dog“ mindset society, it is difficult to lead with love and compassion and care. If monthly numbers in spreadsheets about the financial results of the company are the only essential thing,l leaders are getting the clear message about what to focus on. To change how corporations and within its leaders are functioning, we need to challenge basic underlying assumptions and overall theories we use for our life on this planet.
Every system and culture has its history
The ethics of “faster, more, bigger“ are embedded in companies’ systems and cultures, and many high-potential leaders are today not only facing the real-time business and performance issues but also the history of previous leaders and systems that were established for supporting the “faster, more, bigger“ paradigm. Working only on leadership development without addressing the whole system change has from the beginning low potential for the real transformation that would more significantly impact employee’s engagement, their performance and, consequently, also the results of the company.
So, we mustn’t overlook the role of all employees in this game either. The consciousness of people on this earth is evolving. We are much more aware of our needs and rights and wanting to live a higher quality and more purposeful life – which is great. However, also because of the system we lived in, we act many times as consumers, expressing our needs and desires without understanding the responsibility we have for their realization. We are used to looking outside for someone and something to bring us solutions that would make us safer, loved, valuable, fulfilled and content with our life. We also live as victims of this mindset for more significant problems. We judge systems and corporations and leaders and politics for our society and environmental issues, and yet we are not prepared to step out of our comfort zone and make some decisions to think and act differently and actively share our voice for changes that are needed.
And finally leaders
I also get angry and judgemental about leaders sometimes. I know they can and should do better. Because taking a Leadership position by itself means taking responsibility. For results, for people, for society and our nature. However, working with leaders, I mostly meet people with good intentions, big hearts, and even bigger minds but also many times lost in the whole game not knowing how to embrace all business and people issues. Which is entirely understandable since 95% of all leaders I meet have a technical or economic or legal background which did not include any human-related knowledge, never mind personal development and consciousness-raising initiatives.
So is it all leaders fault?
Definitely not. It’s nobody’s fault.
Things are the way they are. They are bringing all of us a significant opportunity to make things better. I believe that Companies and its Leaders are the most influential factor in making this change. I decide to influence this change through Organizations and Leaders, supporting them to embrace whole system change and create the new reality that will work for great achievements but also happy leaders, happy employees, and healthy society, and clean rivers. I decide to approach Leaders with fewer judgments and with more Love and Empathy.
With Love, Marjana