Empowering Others

Franklin Covey® hired my company, C3 Advantage, as the first external company to do internal training. The cohort graduates went from being told how to fix their problems to being empowered to fix their own problems. The difference is executives can use their knowledge in a new more valuable way, such as increased capacity for the team and increased the effectiveness of the executive. Part of our success was training key leaders how to effectively identify problems prior to solving them. But that’s for another article.

This change in approach required that the executives trust in the ability of the people to contribute in new ways as they learn to lead. The result was a re-energized company where expanded learning is taking place and mutual interdepartmental respect and support was growing on all levels.

The executive that is able to relax the ego and demonstrate humility so that the team can create an innovative value model will see progressive expressions of success. You will discover that your people have traditional skills and experience, plus new competencies. The relaxing of your ego combined with the unleashing of your team’s latent potential is what will make you a stronger, more relevant leader.

Sounds Great But…

What might hold you back from letting go of the way it was before and redefining your value going forward? Let’s first begin by considering an executive mindset and presence leading with vulnerability.

Vulnerability. You may have already hit this wall as you were reading this article. Change can be unsettling, especially when it comes without a choice like it has for many of us. Change makes us feel vulnerable, out of control and maybe even unsuccessful. Let me offer you a bit of encouragement. I am not only inviting you to redefine your value as an executive, I am inviting you to redefine success. You get to create your own measure of success, share it with your people and together you can all live this out in new ways. Take what would be a vulnerable position and turn it into a shared mission.

“If you want to build a ship, don’t’ drum up people together to collect wood and don’t assign tasks and work, but rather teach them to long for the endless immensity of the sea.” Anoine de Saint-Exupery

Dan Allendar, author of Leading with a Limp, emphasizes how God favors leaders who know the value of brokenness. Myths of relying on human power and control can be deceptive in leadership, whereas God’s power is found in brokenness. Flawed leaders can be successful because they are not obsessed with image upkeep, but rather embrace challenges by risking failure to move an organization into its full potential.

Redefine Your Value

By redefining your value as a leader with a renewed executive mindset and executive presence, every person on your team or in your company gets to reconnect to their value in new ways during a time that feels like a new world order is emerging. It is times like this that create crisis of identity in your people. As you allow yourself to reconnect to key values of your leadership, you can then create massive opportunity for your people to redefine and, in a sense, regain their own value. This can be a highly energize force to the organization at a time when there is intense instability.

Now more than ever, leaders must appreciate that employees are not robots or algorithms. They are human beings with wants, needs, problems, emotions, ideas and aspirations. (Ed Hodge, Executive VP and CHRO for Trinity Health at Gallop.com)

Your employees know that everything has shifted. What they are silently wondering is if you know it or if you are going to expect things to operate the same as before.

The Executive Mindset Proceeds Executive Presence

With my clients, I provide a judgement free and confidential space for leaders to hone their executive mindset. This is important inward, reflective work that creates huge opportunities for unlocking your business. We can’t stop the world from these “tectonic shifts” nor change what is happening now. You can, however, develop a renewed mindset that gives you room and space to redefine you and your team’s value along the way.

“Open, honest and effective”.

Those are the words that describe one leader. How do you want to be described right now?