The Leadership Fix
My Theoretical Foundation
My work with leaders and organizations is based on the following principles that are well understood by psychologists and social scientists, through decades of experimental and applied research.
Businesses are organized groups of people creating value to serve other people.
All people need to feel connected and valued in order to feel psychologically safe. We evolved as social animals and care very much about our social standing in groups.
When people feel connected and valued (and safe) they are more engaged, committed, and creative.
Leaders are in a position - through their words, actions, and rules - to foster connection, value, and safety. Some do a better job than others.
Leaders can change their behavior to do this better because real change is possible, at any age, through habit building.
Mindfulness is crucial to building new habits because when we pay attention we can choose to move toward the changes that serve us.
New habits are built more easily if done in pursuit of a reward, rather than in avoidance of punishment. Making new behaviors enjoyable and fun makes change easier for us and for our people.
Coaching helps people make permanent behavior change by providing knowledge, structure, accountability, and inspiration.
FIRST 3 MONTHS: THE HUMAN HANDBOOK
UNDERSTAND THE BIG PICTURE
Understand your humanity and the brain and body with which you are equipped. Learn about feelings and beliefs. Learn about attention and emotion. Learn the difference between circumstances and our thoughts about them. Learn how thoughts lead to feelings which lead to actions which lead to results. Learn how to make real, permanent behavior change in ourselves. Learn why willpower doesn’t work in the long run and how to make the switch so that you don't rely on it. Learn the model which is the path from fear to joy. Practice.
Learn your strengths and your fears. Assess which areas of your life you are thriving or not. Assess which behaviors you would like to change because they are not serving you. Discover your emotional spectrum now and decide what you would like it to be. Discover what the (mostly negative) chatter in your head is saying to you. Become the “watcher” and learn your thoughts. Discover the themes and patterns in your thoughts that reveal your self-limiting beliefs. Practice.
DEVELOP NEW HABITS OF MIND & connect with yourself
Learn tools to focus attention, regulate emotion, and practice self-compassion — the three ingredients for connecting to oneself. Learn and practice tools to reframe thoughts and boost wellbeing. Utilize more of your strengths. Learn tools to let go of the most painful emotions and the scariest fears. Set goals to develop new habits of mind and body and achieve them. Practice.
UNDERSTAND HOW CONNECTION TO OTHERS RELATES TO JOY & Become more connected
Learn how your behavior ripples and goes on to affect others beyond what you can witness. Learn tools for and practice inclusion, gratitude, compassion for others, and empathy — the four ingredients for connecting to others. Begin developing compassion for others in your life including bosses, peers and employees. Practice.
second 3 MONTHS: THE leadership HANDBOOK
UNDERSTAND THE POWER OF organizational CULTURE
Understand the ingredients of a culture required for engaged, committed, and creative employees. Understand the detriment - the monetary costs - to having disengaged, uncommitted employees who are not using their creativity. (hint: your employees' engagement relies on your engagement; your customers' engagement relies on your employees' engagement.) Understand your role as a leader in creating and upholding culture. Practice.
UNDERSTAND YOUR BEHAVIORS AT WORK
Reevaluate your behaviors at work. You have already made significant changes that are reflected in how you work and lead. Self-assess your workplace habits, now. Learn how you are perceived by others at work - bosses, peers, and employees. Learn how your workplace habits affect these perceptions. Practice.
DEVELOP NEW LEADERSHIP HABITS
Develop leadership habits that serve you. Set goals for new behaviors and apply your new tools to making permanent changes. You are becoming the role model you know you need to be. Practice.
BRING IT HOME TO YOUR TEAM
Diagnose the strengths of your team and integrate strengths thinking into your workplace. Begin developing a coaching habit of your own. Lead from a place of confidence, competence, and compassion. Practice.