As most of you know, in the mid-seventies I began to work with organizations for the sole purpose of improving relationships between coworkers. Those that employed me saw this as a serious enough problem to warrant finding someone to resolve this problem that (as they saw it) was between and amongst their staff. What gave me my reputation were my own employees and our camp’s remarkable success over a period of 27 years that I believed was due to good fortune and awesome child workers. I saw myself as lucky to have found and hired such capable people. As leader, I saw me as incidental and simply a good problem solver. I believed that my work was to facilitate the work my staff did and that my leadership was incidental to their excellent work. It took observing other leaders and years of intensive research to realize how wrong I was.
Initially, my workshops had all to do with helping an organization build a more cooperative and productive environment between coworkers. What I soon discovered was that troubled staff relationships are not the primary cause, but the result of bad leadership. This troubled me deeply since I, as leader, may have been a major contributor to the personnel issues I faced during my leadership days. For my many years as leader I was absolutely ignorant of my part in staff issues. Simply put, some of them were the problem, never me. So, don’t change me, change or get rid of them.
This shook me at my core since I never remember checking me out as “what kind of leader was I?” When I trained my staff I trained them to be the most creative and able with children as possible. But I was not conscious of the impact my relationship with any of them had on our relationship and the work they did. 27 years later as mentor to other leaders and the solving of their staff relations I discovered how important boss/staff relationships are. Nothing is more important!
Two changes had to take place. The first had to be the leader’s awakening to their power and influence and the other had to be the planting and nurturing of genuine dialogue, not monologue between the leader and the people they worked with. Also, due to this awakening I began to study Leadership, Power & Influence from any and every source. It continues to this day.
The success of the workshop program literally exploded and I desperately needed others to join with me in helping leaders grow into their natural, nurturing and empowering selves. Not an easy task. Sy