The room turned frigid as your team members haul personal conflict and stress to Thursday morning’s meeting. They grab a seat around an intimidating conference table. Body language and seat selection shout: “This is war.”
“Old timers” sit on the north side facing the “new blood.” Battle lines get drawn in the freezing winter-mix of sleet and snow. New blood brings outside news and ideas. Opportunity demands change … but your team resists it like the devil. Every day you work in Stuckville. It’s all too common a scene in most businesses.
What makes it better?
Future success requires a breakthrough. Stuckville residents are high potential people held back due to self-limiting behaviors and old habits. Fear leads to ancient behaviors that limit potential and performance; freedom’s joy, life harmony, personal fulfillment and engagement are nothing but a foggy memory. The heart desires to love and be loved, to contribute, to do well and make a difference is ignored. Less-than-productive behavior betrays its well-intended attempts.
The new you needs space and support for desired changes to flourish. Success requires learning to communicate and listen, to delegate and set expectations. It looks like a renewed way of thinking that supports an engaged, productive, top-performing team of self-managed leaders.
It’s hard work. Nothing happens unless you change your behavior. But the rewards are expanded personal influence and effective leadership.
How do we breakthrough?
There is no silver bullet. No overnight success. Freedom waits until you are ready.
Leaders are people who are willing to listen for truth in the story – feedback, experience, success, and failure. Some of the reward is less conflict and stress, which opens the door to improved performance, personal success.
Self-managed leaders are mindful, live with hope, and walk in love. Really? What does that mean?
1. Mindful – you are living awake, alert, and aware. No more sleepwalking through life.
In Resonant Leadership, Richard Boyatzis and Annie McKee write, “mindfulness is living in a state of full, conscious awareness of one’s whole self, other people, and the context in which we live and work.”
2. Hope – you believe something greater, better, or significant you desire could happen.
You stand “here” but begin to hear the promise. You catch a glimpse of a preferable future with freedom and possibilities; you hear the promise of transformation and believe.
3. Love – you desire the best for others so you act in a way that is true to that desire: less betrayal, more authenticity.
Workplace love begins when you see the people, know their story, and are motivated to help them succeed beyond supporting your success.
Self-managed leaders get energized because a) they are conscious of how they show up, aware of others and what’s going on around them; they b) have and create hope for the future, and c) they love people and desire to help them succeed.
Breakthrough flickers, but no hugs, yet
Instead of the usual Stuckville meeting, you try to encourage openness and honesty. Listening is tough, but you hold it together long enough to finish. Afterward you find a quiet cubicle and hold your exhausted head. The team is frustrated. They spoke of distrust, lousy communication and their disengagement. This is going to take time. No doubt about that.
Still, they acknowledged change was necessary. You even heard gratitude that “the company” was investing in their development. Mindfulness flickered.
Hope slipped into the room as they recognized the prison of Stuckville. They caught a glimpse of freedom; they believed a breakthrough was possible … hope began working. The journey has begun.
And what about love? Well, the room got a little warmer when a few smiles brightened. You know that it will spread with work and time. The work of liberation requires love and so much more. But with mindfulness and hope, renewal seems possible. Maybe there’s a way out of Stuckville after all.
Where do see yourself in this story?
Here’s to freedom,
PS: If you want to be a self-managed leader or want to develop your team, Next Generation Leaders coaching is available for individuals or business teams. Get more details at the team-based coaching page.