In 2018, the nonprofit think tank Populace surveyed a representative sample of 3,000 men and women in America about success. The survey respondents were first asked what they thought society’s definition of success was. It’s no surprise they said society thought money and prestige best represented authentic success. But then the survey took a different turn.
The think tank asked then the survey respondents if they completely or mostly agreed with society’s definition of success. Only 18% said they did. Interestingly, 40% of the respondents said they agreed with society’s definition of success—at one time—but now they no longer agreed with it.
The overwhelming majority said their personal definition of success included happiness and achievement. Surprisingly, 74% said society thought “someone who is powerful” is successful, but 91% said they personally believed “someone who is purpose-driven” is successful.
Here’s the kicker: The vast majority of us believes that everyone else thinks someone who’s “rich and powerful” is successful, but simultaneously we personally believe that “personal fulfillment” is essential to success.
Is your leadership ability healthy? If you immediately say yes, then you might want to rethink your answer. It’s likely that there are some gaps in your leadership ability that you are unaware of.
Here’s the big question: Would you want your leadership style replicated in your organization? Over time, you will remake your organization in your image. People in your charge—and in their charge—will do what you do. Would you want your entire organization to lead like you lead?
Most leaders have not taken the time to examine how healthy their leadership ability is. That’s understandable—and that’s unfortunate. It’s understandable with all that they have on their plate. But it’s unfortunate because of all the people they have reporting to them who are impacted by their leadership.
Here are some resources to help you improve your leadership ability.
How would you describe your relationship with your board? Would you say that is harmonious? Or would you say that it is contentious? If you and your board are at odds with each other, then it is likely that you are not in alignment.
I have found in working with myriad boards and CEOs that oftentimes the confrontation is caused by confusion. There is discord between the CEO and the board because they are not in alignment.
The good news is that—as long as there is no executive malfeasance— a skilled facilitator can usually restore CEO-board relations by clearing up the confusion. However, a mediator may be required if the standoff is deep-seated.
If you are your board are not in alignment, here are the three areas where there may be confusion in the CEO-board relationship.
Culture change starts with you as a leader. In your role at your organization, you can have a profound impact on the people employed there. You have the potential to be an agent of transformation. You can make a contribution to society by making an impact on your company culture. Diversity starts with you.
We all arrive where we are based on our own experiences, and our experiences affect our worldview. But here’s the tricky thing: we are usually oblivious of our worldview. We usually think we are more open-minded than we actually are. We usually don’t realize what our worldview is until something challenges that view.
Culture change is a process, and a process takes time. It requires intentionality, clarity, and consistency. It requires doing things that we typically haven’t done before. We can’t expect a short diversity training session to change behavior. It needs to be woven into the fabric of our organizations. It requires us to operationalize our organizational values into a systemized training process.
Here are five key concepts for incorporating diversity into your company culture through a systemized training process.
Your culture defines how things are done at your organization. But it’s possible your culture defines how things are not done at your organization. Instead of moving your organization forward, it’s possible your culture is holding you back. If that’s the case, you have a toxic culture.
A toxic culture makes everything more difficult at your organization. Eventually a toxic culture will cause you to lose your best people, decrease your productivity, and reduce your profitability. And it will only get worse unless it’s identified and addressed.
Here are four signs that you have a toxic culture at your workplace.
CEOs need leadership coaching. It may not seem like it because they are already in the top job. But the fact is that CEOs need leadership coaching probably more than anyone else in the organization.
Now, it’s true that you want to build your future leaders through leadership coaching. They do need to be coached in how to lead better than they currently do. No one disputes that. But many CEOs don’t realize they need leadership coaching for themselves.
Here are four reasons why CEOs need leadership coaching more than anyone else in the organization.
The other day a fellow CEO told me about another CEO who found their staff camaraderie suffered because of telecommuting. He said that lack of regular contact took its toll on their organizational culture. That was a lesson that he took to heart, especially in this day of social distancing. We don’t have a choice about where we are physically located at this time, but we do have a choice about whether or not we will make an impact on those we are in contact with, even virtually.
During this COVID reality, you can’t necessarily be with the people on your team, but you can still reach out to them. Your good intentions don’t have to shelter in place.
Your organizational culture will likely suffer because your people don’t have regular human contact with each other. You will need to be intentional about the contact you do have with your team in order to make up for that loss of face-to-face interaction.
Don’t forget to be human when social distancing. In a COVID world, here are some ways to make an impact on those you can’t physically have around you.
The other day I interviewed a CEO for a book I am writing. During our conversation, he told me his company did some research 10 years ago about what differentiated them from their competition. What did their customers tell them? They learned from their customers that it was how the company treated them—the way the employees made them feel—that made the difference. And that has provided them with some strategic branding opportunities.
We can apply a lesson from this story to how we deal with the COVID-19 crisis. The Chinese character for the English word crisis is composed of two characters: one signifies “danger” and the other signifies “opportunity.” At this time, we can choose to look at this crisis for the dangers it presents, or we can look at the opportunities it offers.
Right now, the COVID-19 crisis provides you with some strategic branding opportunities. By providing what your customers and prospects want and need in this crisis, you can cultivate a closer relationship with them. Here are three questions for you to consider how you can benefit others—and benefit your company—during this crisis.
I recently conducted a culture audit for a company that has an outstanding culture. This company has had a meteoric rise in its six years, especially considering the serious challenges they have overcome in their first years. But a surprising number of employees felt that they were being treated unfairly and that their colleagues were not pulling their full weight. And they would not have known that their employees felt that way without the audit.
I’ve found that the worse the culture at an organization, the less likely they want to do anything to fix the culture. It’s the companies that have a good culture—like the one I just did the audit for—that want to make their culture even better.
Ignorance about your company culture is not bliss. Here are three reasons why you should consider having a culture audit.
Your emotional intelligence will be the most important skill in the workforce of the future. With AI becoming more and more a part of the workplace, humans will become more valuable for what makes them distinctively human. Your ability to work with other people will be what sets you apart from machines—and from other humans.
If you are not able to help people become better than they are now, then you may need to think through how you can increase your emotional intelligence. An executive coach may be exactly what you need.
A good executive coach will challenge you to think differently. The thinking that has brought you to where you are now is not the thinking that will bring you to where you want to go. You must be willing to shore up your emotional intelligence in order adapt to the new situations you will encounter in the workplace of the future.
Here are three ways an executive coach can help you grow your emotional intelligence.