Leadership Super Powers
According to Brene Brown, author of Rising Strong, “The most transformative and resilient leaders that I’ve worked with over the course of my career have three things in common:”
- They recognize the central role that relationships and story play in culture and strategy, and they stay curious about their own emotions, thoughts, and behaviors.
- They understand and stay curious about how emotions, thoughts, and behaviors are connected in the people they lead, and how those factors affect relationships and perception.
- They have the ability and willingness to lean in to discomfort and vulnerability.
In our culture work, we repeatedly see the importance of relationship and story. Relationships create connection and repeated stories become the legends of culture. When leaders focus solely on financials, results, and other measures, they miss the opportunity to instantiate transformation.
Point three about leaning into discomfort and vulnerability is essential during culture change. You cannot create culture shift without facing your own need to change. We worked with an organization who had a CEO that epitomized the opposite of these three things. After a few months of great work with the management team, we reached a roadblock. We realized that the leader’s lack of vulnerability blocked his ability to see the havoc wrecked on the employees by his stubborn drive for unreasonable results. His unwillingness to change caused a screeching halt in the culture work and caused us to terminate our work together.
We’re passionate about story as a mechanism for increasing effectiveness in leadership and change. When people hear a story, research shows that their mirror neurons are activated. That means that the listener’s brain image corresponded to the speaker’s brain image. Data is easily twisted, lost or forgotten; so use stories, they stick!
If you’ve always wanted to see Brene Brown live, stay tuned for the announcement…she’s going to be a keynote speaker for Change Management 2016.