Consulting and coaching allows you to live in between worlds. You work with diverse people, organizations, cultures and regions. You arc across crevices of space and time and sometimes you touch the beyond, explore the archetypal and get a peek at the universal.
I am back from two events, where I was asked to help organizations that are grappling with growth and change. In each situation the work focused on turning the ‘good problems’ of success into greater opportunities. The first was a strategy summit for a global team managing a multi-billion dollar operation. The second was a leadership retreat for a spiritually based community in northern CA. Working back to back with these two very different groups led me inside a parallel universes frame of mind. As always, part of the benefit of working with such diverse groups is being able to decipher the patterns of what works, to capture the wisdom teased out of grappling with success, growth and change. Here are some of the themes and ideas I found this week:
1. Engage in organizational transformation and change. Keep re-architecting your organizational vision. These are dynamic times. Yesterday’s formula may be good but is not sufficient. To transform the organization we all need to transform.
2. Resolve to side-step obstacles. Do not react to old hindrances. They tend to suck you down rabbits holes that are dead-enders. Stop the bleeding. Make a swift movement forward.
3. Attend to what is present here and now. Recognize and name the ‘emergent needs’. Sculpt the possibilities. The challenge you face holds the key to the inner work you must do. The next breakthrough is always nearby, and when it gets tough, the breakthrough is even closer.
4. Step into the leadership space. Most team meetings are wasted time, filled with reports and presentations of data, problems, and machinations and repetition of decisions that were made previously. The leadership space is emergent. You move out of reporting, out of managing into surrendering control to the guidance of the creative and collaborative process. This is where our services are a game-changer. We help you cultivate the leadership space.
5. Take courage. Listen to intuition and guidance. The circle/the group is supremely intelligent. Ask and you shall be given. Knock on the door and it shall open. Engage others in the inquiry so the escalator of discovery accelerates you and the whole.
6. Create the moment. Life itself is the poetry. Joy and pain, struggle and triumph are a syncopation we all discover. Vision is not out there. It is here and now, in what you enable for you, for your team and for the whole as it grows into what it is becoming.
7. Ask yourself and your team. Are we working on the right things? Are we engaged with the essential questions? Organizational greatness is found first in supporting each part to be the best it can be. And second, in the synergy of all parts creating a greater whole.
8. Take action. There are times to wait. There are times to patiently and busily ready yourself, in business, in organizational life and in the universe at large. And then there are times to take action. This is a universe that blesses initiative, ingenuity, creativity and movement.
9. Develop new capacities. The story you are in is unfinished. You are creating it now. It is undetermined. You can choose right now to move into a new possibility, to then sculpt it step by step. Every day, every challenge gives you a new choice. Your job as a leader is to enable what was impossible yesterday. You are here to help others see new options, to help them create anew their story and safely realize the options they choose.
10. Embark on the next step. There is always a new leg on this journey. There is always a new opportunity. You journey from (A) to (B) because (B) allows you to do what could not be done in (A). Structures and process methodologies are bridge makers. They are important because they get you to (B) and then to (C) and much more. You are a leader because you are a bridge-maker.
© Aviv Shahar