Managers Masquerading as Leaders
A guest blast of fresh air from a terrific thinker, speaker and author – Alan Berson (KRC – July 20 2020, July 22 2020, November 22 2020, March 22 2021 and August 5 2021).
OMG it has been easy to become negative in recent times as the world tugs at us from seemingly all directions…yet negativity does not serve us or others well.
I offered to write a blog for Kevin on a ‘realistic’ view of the world and he said there is no room for negativity in his blog. He challenged me to reevaluate where I was stuck and to blast out of it. So I asked if I could write a blog on regaining positivity to help me get positive again and here it is.
Three premises and realities: Most importantly, we make our beliefs come true. Next, the glass is not half empty or half full. It is just magnificent that we have a glass…hopefully at least half filled with great wine, scotch or pure water. Finally, everything in life IS a choice, we just might not like some of the consequences of any given choice. Let’s all choose to be positive and overcome the negative with powerful mindsets and choices.
You might say this view is pollyannish. And perhaps it is to some degree but consider the alternative. What good does it do to be in a funk. It lowers our human and leadership potential and increases our potential for illness…both mental and physical. I remember duck-and-covering in 4th grade, losing a beloved president in 6th grade, the Cuban missile crisis, the arms race, celebrating the first Earth Day at the idealistic age of 18 and feeling like no one was interested, Viet Nam, 9/11, and more recently BLM riots and January 6th activities. Our current intertwined global issues of Covid, sovereign governance and varied views of democracy are no less and perhaps even more troubling, but if we let it paralyze us then we lose. I have now acknowledged that I survived the past and will thrive in the future.
It has been an emotional couple of years that caused many of us to experience our sensitive side to a greater degree opening up new feelings, many of which might be uncomfortable. It is great that this awakening increased our humanity and openness to change because change happens whether we want it to or not. As we cast off amygdala hijack and tie into our logical brain, things become more positive, because as a rule, we tend to overstate our fears and underestimate our strengths and possibilities. Russia invaded Ukraine forecasting victory in weeks if not days, instead it showed how weak their army and system is; no longer fearsome warriors to be afraid of. Putin’s choice certainly had unintended consequences as all our choices do. Covid morphed but as we learned how to manage it, serious illness and death rates have plummeted. Travel has opened the world and our minds should re-open as well.
Many of us no longer go into an office 5 days a week and vaccines work! Managers masquerading as leaders are having a hard time with ‘their’ folks working from home, but leaders who know how to grow and believe in their human talent are harvesting the positive potential. Many leaders I work with as a coach have surprisingly…to them… learned to enjoy work away from the office. They learned that focusing on their people grows profit. We have learned to end a meeting in minutes instead of hours once the purpose of the meeting is met and we don’t need to hang out in the conference room or at our desk just to look busy. We are no longer held physically hostage to complainers at our doors who want to drag us down; we can choose to ignore them. Gathering at water fountains pale compared to new forms of replenishment and we no longer let others distract us from getting real work done. We have a hard time hiring employees so we find ways to spend less time doing the least meaningful work and more time crafting a positive atmosphere for employees. We spend more time asking powerful questions and engaging in learning conversations. All very positive outcomes. I now challenge you to talk to your folks to create your own list of what you and your organization have learned over the Covid years and write down how you will foster positive change over the next 2 years. Then make that change come true.
Change and transition seems difficult to some but so was riding in a covered wagon compared to today’s methods of travel. Can’t wait to see what happens next…and to be a part of making it happen.