Consider two leadership scenarios:
1. A CEO or upper level leader is unhappy with sales and productivity and decides to hire a business consultant to recommend changes in workforce policies, procedures and processes to address decreasing sales and productivity in their company.
2. A CEO or upper level leader is unhappy with sales and productivity, recognizes their responsibility as perhaps the most powerful component of the system, and decides to hire an executive coach to better understand their contribution to the less than desirable performance.
In the first case, the “leader” hires an outsider to recommend changes that are later imposed on the workforce. In this case, they tacitly leave themselves outside of the system that is creating the culture that contributes to the less than desirable results. The message to the workforce is simple: “Leadership has the power and is seeking ‘objective’ recommendations for getting more out of you. We will accomplish this by ‘improving’ our policies, procedures and processes to get you to operate more effectively.”
How motivated do you think that the workforce will be? Is leadership likely to get compliance or commitment?
In the second case, leadership knows that they co-create the culture that influences how people feel about the company and its leaders. Here leaders accept responsibly for developing others but also for developing themselves. In essence, they “eat their own cooking!” They become models of personal mastery. In doing so, they earn others respect and evoke the power of modeling at the same time. Modeling is arguably the most powerful variable in learning. On top of all of this, recent “f-MRI” studies have demonstrated that resonant leadership stimulates mirror neurons in others who are energized to offer their very best. Simply put, commitment to a relationship or an organization is a function of the possibility of growth.