May 10, 2013

Awaken the Child

When you were a kid, you were probably discovering new stuff all the time. There wasn't corporate governance tied to strategic objectives to increase third quarter earnings, you just tried stuff.

Some stuff went well, some not so well, some evolved into other stuff, but you probably didn't over think much because you were too busy discovering and creating. My mom still remarks about how I would get lost in my own world when I was a kid. That kid is alive and well. Is yours?

Snakes and Ladders

But as we grow, we begin to form teams and norms and start to worry more about the opinions of others and grow older and our image becomes more critical than our identity rather than the other way around.

Then we enter the workforce and the race is on to be better than that guy, sell more than her, dress better than him, get the promotion she wanted, make more money than he made, and the world continues to push us to do more – often for them.

Time Flies

So in just a few short years, we go from a kid to a competitive driven individual. Now the business world will love her because there is no place for that childlike wonderment, there is far too much work to be done, meetings to attend, emails to return, and profits to increase. He needs to stay focused on company goals and revenue projections.

Then you may get to a point when you discover your values have been compromised, your goals have been shelved and replaced by those of the person who pays you every two weeks, and you yearn for the simple times when you just discovered new stuff every day without all this noise.

Do As They Say

If you own the company or you’re in a leadership role, telling your employees what to think, want, and feel will work never. Embracing that they do have goals and dreams will work if you do it with authenticity. Don’t be afraid to wake up and help those around you do the same. Put culture and humans in front of profit margins and share price.

Don’t shy away from that young girl who spent hours discovering new ideas on her own. Don’t shun that little boy who lost himself in creativity. Embrace life and let everyone on your team do the same.

The results will astound you.
Kneale Mann | Leadership and Culture strategist, writer, speaker, executive coach engaging leaders, collaborative teams, and strong business results.

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