A leader is what he or she is unless they, at a deeply personal level, want to change and grow themselves. If they have the courage to go there they require either a counselor or a mentor and ideally the people they live and work with.
Why the people they live and work with? The simplest answer is that these are the people that know them best. People with power (leaders) too often believe they fool people with their words and behavior and are winners in the game of relationships. The truth is that these are the leaders that get the appearance of winning and their way, but never at the level people are able to give if treated with respect, regard and trust. The actuality is that everyone loses if those conditions do not exist.
It’s this sense of something wrong in the office and the belief that staff is the problem that brought me to the workshop circuit. My knowledge and success with staff resulted in requests to help professional offices solve staff problems. Demand for my services, country wide, exploded, but so did my awareness that the problem had little to do with staff. It became blatantly clear that the leader is the problem. And I had been a leader for25 years? My need to understand leadership led me to study power and this became my life’s work.
The more I learned about power the more I realized leaders do harm to what they need most if they want to succeed in their professional business. This is the best trained, supportive relationships with and among staff and leader as is possible. And when we replaced monologue with dialogue and the leader began to empower staff the changes in relationships and productivity improved dramatically. Going back became impossible. Change does not happen in a vacuum and requires more than spoken words. It’s perception which is visual, felt and heard. Here I mean the whole of the environment including safety, trust and mutuality. This is the experience of listening and understanding each other, but not necessarily agreeing. Learning this lesson about dialogue is absolute. The goal is to have employees experience equality and respect from their leader. The elimination of a fixed hierarchy became a new and continuing reality. Sy