"Growing Authenticity & Delivering Results"
Objective of the program:
To strengthen the capability of the participants to live their full talents and potential and deal with the pressures of delivering results to stakeholders through growing their awareness of and mastery over emotional dynamics and subsequent behaviour.
All of us are leaders - starting with leading our own lives. Some of us signed up for roles in which leadership is a dominant theme, living four prime tasks:
- Providing direction - defining e.g. purpose, vision, goals, objectives, targets.
- Allocating resources - to realise our direction, determining who should get how much of the available, limited resources: people, money, assets, knowledge.
- Mobilising people - stimulating people to take ownership and commitment for delivering results.
- Resolving conflicts - along the path of implementation and delivery, resolving conflicts between people e.g. on the direction to take, the resources to allocate, the priorities to follow, the power to wield and the rewards and recognition to garner.
All four tasks are geared to generate results as agreed with the stakeholders - our employees, our customers, our suppliers, our shareholders and the wider groups of stakeholders like governments, institutions, etc. Essential to these stakeholders is the delivery of the results which as a leader I have promised them.
Whatever visions, strategies, plans, budgets or targets a leader has defined; only through delivery of results do they become real. The actual delivery level of results influences the self-confidence of the leader and also determines whether stakeholders appreciate him and will continue the relationship, whole heartedly, or not. Delivering results develops trust and generates excitement while failure to do so frustrates!
What the various stakeholders want the leader to deliver is often very different or even conflicting from one another. Dealing with these conflicting interests, generates dilemmas and subsequent pressures for the leader, e.g.:
1. The dilemma of Growth - when is growth really growth?
When does our performance mean we grow? Do we truly excel or are we basically externalising cost? Are we chasing illusionary targets external to our own needs, driven by the perceived needs of shareholders or bosses? Are we striving to realise the collective purpose of the organization we lead or are we being driven by a mental construct or emotional need, exceeding natural boundaries, exhausting ourselves and others? What is my boundary between morality and opportunism?
2. The dilemma of Choice - do I set boundaries and live them?
What do I choose for; what do I choose against? Do I set priorities and dare to say truly yes and truly no; take responsibility and be accountable? Or do I prefer not to choose? Am I able to live with the consequences-for which some will blame me, others will cheer me? What are the consequences for my people and for our collective results if I don't make choices?
3. The dilemma of Connectivity - will 'they' and I meet in dream and reality?
How do I get my people to share the responsibility and accountability with me? How do I assure that they generate ownership and commitment for implementation? Do I motivate them or do they motivate themselves? Do they follow me out of inspiration or fear - because they need the job, the money? How much time and tolerance should I have for their free will, ideas, imperfections and mistakes? Or should they just follow my passion, my will and, if not, exit?
4. The dilemma of Power - will I (ab)use the power given to me?
Do I use my power legitimately and fairly in facing and resolving conflicts? Do I delegate decisions - or is this a euphemism for abdicate? When do I over-power people? When I ask, am I actually demanding, by making 'an offer they can't refuse'? What is the boundary between legitimate power and abuse of power?
The ability to deal with these dilemmas directly impacts the success of the leader and the business he is leading, as perceived personally, as well as by other stakeholders. The more senior the leadership position and the wider impact his actions have, the higher the stakes and the pressures he feels. To some, the pressure is essential to the excitement and fulfilment of a leadership role. Yet not always. Sometimes for all leaders and always for some, the pressure is the nightmare of the role.
The constant pressures of simultaneously delivering results and managing these dilemmas generate a fifth dilemma, the ultimate challenge to the leader:
5. The dilemma of Authenticity - am I who I think I am; am I who I portray I am; am I who I want to be?
Am I in contact with my passion? Do I act according to my inner truth? Do I work from my inner purpose, drive and talents Do I really believe in what I do, what I ask from my people and my organisation? How do I align my actions and convictions? Or do I accommodate myself to the wishes of stakeholders, in search for their acknowledgement of me, with the risk of over-serving, progressively becoming a caricature of myself? Do I stay honest to what I think should be done? Am I real? Or do I play my role superficially and pass on to my people the pressures that are mine?
How a leader deals with the pressure becomes visible through his behaviour. High pressure can result in constructive or dysfunctional behaviour or both. We all know examples, of ourselves, of people around us. Dealing with the pressure requires leaders to master their behaviour. Many leaders will recognise situations in which afterwards they would have wanted to do things different or even regretted their behaviour - for what it has caused to those around them. Equally, over time, leaders can get entangled in driving strategic horizons, business solutions, whilst feeling discomfort, not knowing whether to take the emotion seriously, let alone whether and how to change their behaviour or the course they have set.
This Leadership Development Program is grounded in the belief that leaders, who own their behaviour, including their dysfunctional behaviour, are more successful - in manifesting their true self and in achieving results for their stakeholders.
Owning means taking responsibility and being accountable for all behaviour demonstrated. It requires the leader to stop searching for excuses outside himself - the difficult context, the over-demanding shareholders, the lousy employees, the low budgets, the fierce competition, etc. It means trusting, as a leader, that the knowledge and experience he has is enough and to stop studying the next leadership theory, hoping it will give the answer to all problems.
Owning asks for searching inside - active reflection to become more conscious of the inner self. Learning which feelings are triggered by the pressures and the dilemmas and learning what are the resultant behaviours. Learning to read the feelings and use their information. This means becoming aware of how to deal with one's own feelings constructively, including the 'negative' feelings, e.g. frustration, irritation, uncertainty, anxiety, etc. Developing an inner quality to deal with the feelings to regain leadership of one's own behaviour.
Participants are seasoned leaders, bringing together a vast amount of knowledge and experience from international, profit and not-for-profit field operations. The program works from and with the reality of the participants, leaving theory in the books and the books on the shelf. The program has four main building blocks:
First are the Leadership Dilemmas. They will serve as a catalyst for sharing the individual challenges all participants face in developing their leadership capability. The participants are invited to openly share and explore, as much as is o.k. to them, including personal dilemmas, frustrations and thresholds they experience in delivering and developing their leadership.
Second on the agenda are outstanding 'situations' from every participant's own reality. The situations represent a topic, issue, friction, problem in which the participant is intensively involved, is frustrated by, maybe even stuck in - and still has to deal with! These topics are explored with the colleagues in the program to understand what has caused the situation, what the role the participant-leader himself is playing, what constructive/dysfunctional behaviour he/others are showing, why that is and what scenarios are possible for tackling the topic.
Third are activities called "Explore your Senses", geared to stimulate the awareness of our senses and how they are connected to our feelings, which in turn stimulate our behaviour. Better reading our senses results in leading our emotions rather then our emotions taking the lead over us. Activities will vary from exploring music to yoga to karate, from singing to dancing.
Fourth is the catering and the location. A professional cook with a deep commitment to texture, taste and nutritional quality will take care of the energy base of the week. Food and drinks will be very good quality and predominantly macrobiotics based. Participants will be invited to join in preparing the food.
The location, Chateaux Frandeux in the Ardennes in Belgium, is an inspiring place with a rich history, providing a grounded base for dynamic interactions.
Throughout the program, the interactions will be guided through facilitating, individually and collectively, deep personal reflections.
What is expected from the participants?
- Proactively share their experience thus providing a unique input to the program and the base for mutual learning.
- Willingness to share personal stories and be present as a fellow human being rather then positioning yourself as a 'successful leader' - to share personal experiences, hesitations, strengths, insights, vulnerabilities.
- To be 100% confidential regarding the personal side of the stories, the input, the dynamics shared during the program - to anyone.
- An upfront openness and commitment to the program and the routine presented.
- Contribute and participate through personal experience rather then theories.
- Full presence in the program - no cell-phones, no faxes, no other interruptions other then in "life-death" situations.
Dates of upcoming week-programs?
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