Conscious Leadership Scenario:
I’m reminded daily [working within different organizations] there is more than just one pandemic around the globe. The pandemic I don’t think many acknowledge is junkyard dog management styles; always create toxic work cultures.
What’s alarming is that many reading this article don’t have the altruistic awareness that they are the “junkyard dog.” They are creating cultures where employees keep an updated resume in their office drawer or zip file.
Fear breeds complicity, not commitment. Instead of fear-based tactics, transformational leaders use Conscious Leadership Power. They gain influence through building trust and casting a strong vision, mission, and values.
They lead with their heart, not their sword.
Leadership Fail: Toxic Work Cultures [fear-based]
Where people Aren’t Encouraged to Thrive
Respect is a far better motivator than fear. While fear produces behavioral compliance, it degrades self-motivation. Internal motivations are stronger than external ones. To influence performance improvements in employees, you’ll have to show respect in a way that fuels internal drive and promotes growth.
Transformational leaders must prioritize self-awareness. Research shows that as people grow in positional power, they tend to lose empathy for others. It doesn’t have to be this way. As you advance in your career, you can pursue empathy-building exercises and Conscious Leadership methods.
Gaining influence and creating a culture where everyone is Encouraged, Empowered, and Inspired to Thrive can be difficult because it takes an exorbitant amount of time, but there is no other option.
Negative Affect on Culture and Organizational Performance:
Companies with Toxic Cultures Can’t Win.
- Decreased Productivity
- Negative Customer Experience
- Decreased in Morale and Company Culture
- Failed Corporate and Team Goals
Conscious Leadership Solution:
To help you confidently lead with Conscious Leadership Power, I’ve identified three tools that generate long-term motivation in your team while creating a positive work environment.
Tool #1: Courtesy
Don’t underestimate the impact of kindness. In considering others, you should behave with tact, punctuality, and attentive listening. Make eye contact when people speak to you. Introduce yourself to visitors and introduce your team to people you know. Each of these actions says, “I acknowledge your value.”
Everyone knows they should treat others the way they want to be treated, but followers of this rule are really rare. As culture seems to grow coarser by the minute, the impact of civility increases.
Consider the response when a flight is canceled. The air fills with groans and complaints, people get angry, they yell at gate attendants. The few who keep their cool and act politely to the people behind the counter stand in stark contrast. Often, attendants feel motivated to work the hardest for the kind ones. When people feel respected, they become more energetic and productive.
Tool #2: Candor/Vulnerability
Say what you mean and mean what you say. Candor is about speech and conduct. Many corporate leaders make the mistake of keeping everything too close to vest. This leads to distrust.
You don’t have to tell everything you know, but what you do and say has to be true. Sometimes leaders avoid telling the truth because they think employees are too fragile. Instead of hiding negative facts, consider saying, “I respect you enough to believe you’re able to handle this, so I’m going to tell you the truth.”
The shortest distance between where you are and where you want to be is the truth. The quicker you share about employee underperformance and company issues; the sooner people can help correct the problem.
Tool #3: Challenge
When you challenge people, you communicate a subtle sort of respect that says, “You’re capable.” Your team will not rise to the challenge until they are given the opportunity. Your job is to provide opportunities. You may be surprised by the results.
People like to be challenged. Consider incorporating challenges into your annual review process. As you evaluate performance, ask yourself, “What are this individual’s strengths and capabilities? How can I provide an opportunity where they express those strengths as they grow?”
You can also delegate items you’ve traditionally held tightly. Ignore titles and offer up key reports, important speech writing, project leadership, etc. Give your people a chance to shine. Provide resources and coaching to help them succeed. In the end, both of you will win. You can clear your to-do list, and they will grow through the process.
For lasting impact, motivate with courtesy, candor, vulnerability, and challenge. When you believe the best about your team, they will deliver their best.
We are here to help. For us, our purpose is leadership for a better world, and we are here to help you in showing up as the We-Team leader you need to be. We are here to support you globally. We are on this journey together. This is an invitation, an invitation to join us in creating a collaborative movement: the movement that is leadership for a better world.
Vice President of US Technology Practices at