I work with leaders and teams who are often trying to take on big change. And I notice a theme, no matter what type of change people are trying to take on.
Maybe I’m helping a leadership team get more aligned.
Maybe I’m helping a sales team close more deals.
Maybe I’m helping the CEO create a more inclusive and innovative culture.
The theme is this—things can look solid that are really just made of thought.
Corporate life is hard. Some of us develop habits to protect ourselves, to try to keep ourselves safe. Some of us are focused more on advancement, or winning.
We use these habits so often that we think they are real and solid. So real and solid that we are afraid not to do them.
I was working with an organization a few weeks ago where the former CEO is still involved in the company. He coaches several on the executive team. He maintains relationships with several external partners. He has maintained a “kiss the ring” culture even after supposedly retiring.
It is limiting the organization. And it is all made up. He has been able to convince those around him that he continues to have more power than ever. More power, in fact, than he ever really had. Because you can’t really have that kind of power without someone else consenting to it.
And if the new CEO and the board told him to get out, he would have to get out. A new thought. One with some fear, certainly, but one that would bring immediate change.
All change requires is new thinking. All new thinking requires is seeing that our old thinking isn’t real or solid. It constantly changes. Corporate cultures emerge through the habitual thinking of those in authority, fueled by the self-preservation instinct of those reporting to them. When the leaders change their thinking (or more commonly, when the leaders change), the thinking of the organization will follow.
All a sales team needs to change its effectiveness is for one person to see that listening is more effective than telling.
All a leadership team needs to change is to see that every person’s view of the world is equally valid, and that I can learn more from the others than I can teach them.
Curiosity, borne of seeing that my world, and yours, are never solid and never true.
When a team sees this, they can make any change necessary.
What will your team see today?