Today’s episode is very personal and is very close to my heart.
The space of transformation and change is stressful, overly busy and can get hard and tricky.
It’s no secret that a company’s corporate culture, political agenda and people dynamics can have a powerful influence on its people. For those who find themselves in an environment where authenticity has been replaced with conformity, it can lead to drastic changes in behaviour, changes that often result in negative consequences.
People start to feel pressured into acting as if they are something they’re not or caring about things that are unimportant to them. They become less genuine and more focused on pleasing others, leading to decreased productivity, morale, and engagement.
Under pressure, we get tired and operate from a place of fear and insecurity, which might push us to:
- Cut corners and make assumptions
- Exercise selective hearing and not being fully present
- Charge on and put the blinders on
- Exhibit a lack of empathy and ignore people’s requests
- Become passive-aggressive and sometimes manipulative
- Show a lack of care and sometimes respect
Basically, we become in fight or flight mode.
Unfortunately, many consider this OK due to dealing with the environment.
In some cases, some of those behaviours and “this mask” we put on have been given a name called… “being professional.”
Going through the motion vs. really resolving this
Unfortunately, more people should be taking this deep enough and addressing the root causes.
Those issues will not be fixed by:
- A new leadership development program
- Hiring more people or more consultants
- More off-site and 1:1 boss meetings
- A new culture improvement program
These kinds of issues need a much deeper look and a personalized approach.
In my almost 25 years of experience, I found that common themes and root causes that create those unpleasant behaviours run deep. These root causes and themes are almost invisible but very much alive in the organization.
- A poorly designed change program
- A toxic and ego-centric leader
- A toxic culture
- People are not working to their strengths and find work to be hard and taxing.
- The organization is exclusive and limited vs. Inclusive and diverse. And I am referring more to a diversity of thinking, age, cultural background, education, gender, global perspectives, exposure…etc.
- The people dynamics are not carefully curated and nurtured and are left to evolve by chance.
- You are in the wrong job.
- Unclear, up for interpretation, confusing or conflicting leadership messages
- The lack of psychological safety (a deeper level of psychological safety that is linked to a fair and well-crafted reward system)
- Not addressing bad behaviour and letting it slide.
- You are not set up for success.
And you know what the common theme in all of the above is…
You have to put up with it!
Some of the excuses I heard from leaders for not dealing with this are:
- I don’t have time for this
- It is too much work, and I don’t get rewarded for it
- The people can sort it out for themselves
- They are lucky to be here and have a job
- They can find a job somewhere else
- Blaming it on the people (as if they need fixing): They don’t have what is needed for this job (thick skin, strategic thinking, leadership, persistence…etc.).
And you know, what is also common in this entire list is that they are all BS.
And on top of that, these are used as excuses for not promoting genuinely good people who are victims of the toxic environment and a half-baked leadership job.
I am not promoting a victim mentality, and I know people can do many things to improve their situation. However, Why create that environment in the first place? Why put a cap on progress and growth? Why make it hard when it is avoidable?
You cannot create meaningful change and create transformation if you as a leader, can not see, deal with, go deep and work through these issues first and create the right eco-system, environment and culture to help people thrive and spread their wings.
Don’t be that person
At the end of the day, we are trying to do what we can and do our best while still earning an income and being respectful to others.
However, the pressures and the norms in an environment can change you and shape you into something that you are not.
You can become
- Too focused on the tasks and not on the people (their needs, strengths, dynamics)
- You lose touch with your own strengths and superpowers.
- You are so indulged in conforming and fitting in that you lose touch of what makes you special and valuable.
- You don’t see many options (you are very much in the box)
- You are infected with corporate culture toxicity.
- A go-getter at whatever cost
- Seeing people as task performers (only or mostly)
- Overreliance on logic and rationale that you operate from a single dimension (you might tend to bring this home too)
- Lose touch with what makes you human, connecting with others, seeing the person behind the title
- Being too busy in your head and in your heart may affect your ability to see opportunities and possible red flags.
- Your tolerance and patience thresholds are reducing.
- Your ability to meet people where they are at and adjust continuously reduces.
- Too bossy?
So, to avoid the above, I would like to offer my 2 cents from my own experience as a leader and as a human
- It is critical and super essential that you bring your whole into your workplace (as a human, professional, leader, breadwinner, a person of values and principles, community member… Etc.)
- Focus on balanced development (technical, leadership, personal growth, diversity of thinking, thought leadership, strengths, dark shadows, mindset, visibility…etc.)
- Be intentional about whom you want to be, what you want to be known for, and what success looks like to you… and then choose a company culture and a job that best serves that (especially at the mid-career stage and beyond)
- Don’t follow the big shiny names (big corporates are not necessarily a good place to work for, and neither are small ones, do your homework)
- Don’t follow big shiny technologies/trends (don’t seek to be everything to everyone, seek to be you, have a value proposition, and put your heart and soul into it)
- Could you set and fix your intentions? Everyone can sense them even if they don’t have words around them.
- Protect your originality; it will serve you significantly later on
- Don’t conform! Instead, make a difference and serve
- Be intentional about your growth and invest in a coach and a mentor who can enrich your experience
- Listen to your heart (and those whispers that told you to say something and you kept quiet or to move out of a job, but you stayed..)
They don’t teach this in school or university, and you hope you will come across a good mentor and a coach who can articulate and land this message to you in a way that saves you a lot of grief, energy and wasted opportunities down the line.
Don’t be that annoying person… Be you, and be a better you every day.
Want to see a better world, be a better leader in your organization
The People of Change Community Mastermind
I am passionate about enabling, empowering and equipping the leaders and professionals in the change & transformation space.
The above topic is one of the many that people need to speak openly about in a safe environment and find ways to make it work and learn from each other.
This is certainly one of the focus areas in the soon-to-launch People of Change Community Mastermind exclusive to change and transformation leaders from around the world.
I would love to hear your thoughts and ideas on this topic in the comments section below. Thank you
When you are ready to take your Change and Transformation career & impact to the next level, here are a few ways I can help:
1. Land an impactful and successful change & transformation program and make a bigger impact today. Lock in a Free 30-minute Impact-Maker Call for a conversation about how I can be your behind-the-scenes one-on-one consultant, mentor and advisor. I help leaders elevate their transformation & change practice mastery, expand their perspectives, be visible and respected, build high-performing transformation teams, elevate their leadership, accelerate their career progression, and bring their authentic voice and true expertise to the table. Message me to book your Free 30-minute Impact-Maker Call.
2. Ready to ELEVATE your impact now. Join ELEVATE, my group coaching mastermind program – for ambitious leaders, consultants, professionals and advisors already working on or in charge of change & transformation programs who want to get it right, earn a seat at the table, and elevate their leadership, all without the burnout, guesswork, or losing opportunities. If you are interested, reach out, as the next cohort is now open for registration
3. Express your interest in joining the PEOPLE OF CHANGE (POC) community mastermind program as an early-bird founding member. The POC community focuses on 5 different pillars: Build incontestable Mastery of world-class change & transformation practice, Be an effective and purposeful Leader, show up, be Visible and make a dent, accelerate your Growth and Career, and earn your Seat at the table. Send me a message to learn more and express your interest
Links to the published episodes of “The top 10 things to double down on in 2023” series for change & transformation leaders:
- The link to the People Of Change (POC) Launch announcement is here
- Link to episode 1: Focus here
- Link to episode 2-Part 1: Doing the Work (The Job) here
- Link to episode 2-Part 2: Doing the Work (The Inner Work) here
- Link to episode 3: The need to know more to move forward here
- Link to episode 4: Sell your Expertise here
- Link to episode 5: Creativity in Business Transformation here
Get in touch with me by commenting below or email me at Success@PeopleofTranormation.com