Emotional Fitness: Self Trust by Jim Grant

Self-Trust

Trust is a noun, founded upon abilities, strength and the truth of someone or something. Self-Trust is much more – it’s alive! An un-erring contract with your self, trusting life’s optimal outcomes will happen for you. When it’s deep, experience is an unquestioned security in how you live your life. Connected to self-trust fires imagination and inspiration; obstacles are no more than illusions.

Developing self-trust requires practice. Having faith in your capacity to co-design ‘self-alignment principles and practices’ orient you to “true north”. Releasing old ways of being can be confusing, because it feels like you don’t know what will support you. The question we inevitably stumble over is ‘will I and others like the new me’? 

Self-trust is defined as not being limited by past choices and decisions. Neither is it relying solely on what you think or feel about yesterday. You meet life knowing: “I may not know how to be or do something, but something in me does”.  

Jim Grant is an executive and leadership coach living in Helsinki, Finland. Are you seeking new ways of inspiring and leading people? Give him a call +358 40 178 1030 or by e-mail: jim.grant@diversitas.fi

Sari vieraskynänä Rohkeus johtaa -blogissa: Neljä ehdotusta rohkeaan johtamisen

Johtamistyö, ja pelkkä siihen tähtääminen, on erinomainen tapa kasvaa ihmisenä ja lisätä omaa itsetuntemustaan. Johtamistehtävän harkitseminen on jo sinällään erinomainen harjoitus, jos vain suostuu kuuntelemaan, mitä kaikkea se nostaa itsessä esiin.

Matkansa alussa ja monesti sen aikana johtaja tarvitsee rohkeutta, montaa eri rohkeuden lajia. Rohkeus auttaa suunnistamaan monenlaisten tavoitteiden, ihanteiden ja erilaisten, usein ristiriitaisten, odotusten keskellä. Eri yhteistyötahojen ja sidosryhmien odotukset ja vaatimukset voivat aiheuttaa paljon epävarmuutta. Oman mausteensa keittoon tuovat omat ihanteet ja  vaatimustaso. Epävarmuutta lisää nopeutuva, muuttuva ja monimutkaistuva maailma. Vaatii rohkeutta olla ei-selkeässä tilanteessa ja kohdata monet toiveet, jotka saattavat olla keskenään vahvastikin ristiriidassa ja muodostaa suoranaisia paradokseja. Ole empaattinen, kuunteleva ja osallistava. Ole jämäkkä, varma ja nopea päätöksentekijä. Ota vahvasti johtajan rooli. Ole oma itsesi. Opettele lavaesiintymistä. Muista vaatimattomuus. Kerro suunta. Kuuntele muita.

1) Oma linja, arvot ja näkemykset

Johtaja tarvitsee rohkeutta ja uskoa itseensä luottaakseen omaan ajatteluunsa ja näkemyksiinsä. Hän tarvitsee vankkumatonta sisäistä varmuutta toimiakseen johdonmukaisesti oman sisäisen kompassinsa mukaisesti. Jämäkkyyttä saa harjoittaa ilmaistakseen oman kantansa ja perustelut selkeästi. Uskallusta hän saattaa tarvita vaikeiden asioiden ääneen sanomiseen ja esiin nostamiseen. Erityislaatuista uskallusta vaaditaan myös siihen, että johtajana toimii autenttisesti, omasta persoonastaan käsin. Urhoollisuutta on olla uskollinen itselleen ja omille arvoilleen, jotta voi nukkua yönsä hyvin ja katsoa itseään peilistä hyvällä mielellä.

2) Oma muutoskyvykkyys ja joustavuus

Oman linjansa pitämisen tueksi johtaja tarvitsee myös aivan toisenlaista rohkeutta. Hän tarvitsee näkemyksiinsä väljyyttä ja uskallusta irrottaa niistä. Suurta rohkeutta vaatii kyseenalaistaa itsensä – tai kannustaa lähellä olevia tekemään se. Häneltä vaaditaan ajattelun ja toiminnan joustavuutta ja muutoskyvykkyyttä. On oltava halua suunnata uuteen ja valmiutta nähdä asioita uudella tavalla. Tutkailtava mahdollisuuksia niin ympäröivässä maailmassa kuin myös omassa sekä toisten kehittymisessä. Yhteistyösuhteissa johtaja saa harjoittaa joustavuutta niin omien näkemystensä kuin myös toimintatapojensa suhteen.

3) Oma intuitio ja sisäinen maailma

Johtaja tarvitsee rohkeutta pysähtyä ja vahvaa sitoutumista itseensä ja omaan kehittymiseensä tehdäkseen sen säännöllisesti. Pysähtyä silloinkin – ja erityisesti silloin – kun luontevampaa olisi kiristää vauhtia ja lisätä moniajoa. Vaatii uskallusta tehdä vähemmän ja olla enemmän. Johtajan on tärkeä osata kuunnella omaa intuitiotaan ja sisäistä viisauttaan ja laajentaa älykkyyttään kattamaan niin sydämen kuin kehon viestit pelkän rationaalisen ajattelun tueksi. Kehittyäkseen johtajana hän tarvitsee aikaa säännölliseen, rehelliseen reflektointiin. Johtajan on hyvä osata katsoa niin omia pelkojaan kuin myös supervoimiaan silmästä silmään ja tarkastella omia tekemisiään omana itsenään ja kuitenkin myös etäältä. Sisäinen havainnoija on johtajuusmatkan tärkeä kanssakulkija ja vaatii rohkeutta luoda ja säilyttää kontakti tähän arvokkaaseen kumppaniin.

4) Oma inhimillisyys ja ei-tietäminen

Johtaja tarvitsee rohkeutta harjoittaakseen uuden ajan johtamisen metataitoa: ei-tietämistä. Erityistä nöyryyttä vaaditaan sen myöntämiseen, että oma näkökulma on subjektiivinen ja rajoittunut – joskus jopa vääristynyt tai ainakin värittynyt. Vaatii rohkeutta myöntää, että se mahdollisimman täydellinen kokonaiskuva vaatii useamman ihmisen näkökulman yhdistämisen. Vaatii paljon nähdä, että juuri siinä täysin vastakkaisessa mielipiteessäkin on joku olennainen pointti. Rohkeutta vaatii myös laittaa joissain tilanteissa oma asiantuntemus sivuun ja keskittyä siihen, miten nostaa esiin muiden osaaminen ja tietotaito. Suurta rohkeutta vaatii avoimuus ja oman inhimillisyyden, tunteiden ja haavoittuvaisuden esiin tuominen. Paradoksaalisesti ei-tietäminen ja omien pelkojen ja epävarmuuden tunteiden esille tuominen voivat lisätä johtajan ympärillä luottamusta ja psykologista turvallisuutta.

Rohkeutta vaatii myöntää että on keskeneräinen ja on niin paljon opittavaa – ja rohkeutta vaatii samaan aikaan uskoa, että minä osaan ja minä riitän.

  • Mitä johtamisen paradokseja sinä olet havainnut? 
  • Millaisia selkeitä – tai täysin ristiriitaisia – ehdotuksia tarjoaisit matkalle rohkeaan johtajuuteen?

 

Sari Ajanko on Leadership Coach (PCC) ja oman yrityksensä Diversitas Oy:n toimitusjohtaja. Sarille läheisiä ovat erityisesti johtamisen, moninaisuuden, tsetuntemuksen, tunneälyn, kehotietoisuuden ja muutoskyvykkyyden teemat. 

Moninaisuuden johtamisen käsitteellä hän haluaa syventää johtamiskeskustelua siihen diversiteetin alueeseen, joka on kaikkein näkymättömintä ja joka kuitenkin haastaa jokaista johtajaa: persoonien erilaisuus.

Sarin kirja ”Moninaisuuden johtaminen – ytimessä johtajan itsetuntemus” on tilattavissa Suomen Liikekirjoista. Tämän blogin lukijoille – 20 % alennus koodilla ”Diversitas”.

An overview effect of leadership / by Jim Grant

The Overview Effect (Frank Wright-1987) creates profound shifts in consciousness. They are global perspectives evoking a sense of personal responsibility since the dawn of space travel. Seeing Earth as a whole system, with everything on it connected and an integral part of it, changes you. Interviews with educated astronauts verify their inability to convey this life-altering experience. Someone aspiring to purposeful leadership relates deeply to this inspiration.“

Also see the article in July-August Scan Magazine. 

Life Lessons – To simplify or to complicate? A child prefers the former, yet why do so many confuse progress by making situations and processes complicated? My sense is it’s attributable to how and what we put forward as ‘our’ thinking. The simplest steps towards a world holding all of humanity and moving forward is advancing questions that kindle the fires of peoples’ passions. This isn’t a cure for life woes; neither does it deprive you of anything. Answering these kinds of questions asking that we view all life from a warm-hearted perspective – “Us.” From the edge of space, there are no borders between countries. What you can see at the ionosphere’s fringes is a thin blue line containing us all. From there, it’s simpler to hold as a fragile continuum, a hydrosphere containing our everything. Evolution is realized and measured by a human capacity to consistently step back and ask, what ‘taking heart’ offers us? For me this perspective making infers that I understand the joy, ‘yes the joy’ that obstacles offer as possibilities. Working through, making sense of and understanding who I am today, and how I adapt (or not) and view obstacles changes me. When I do this in the company of like-minded people, a metamorphosis of consciousness becomes a possibility.

Life Roles

People approach life roles resolved by how they create and interpret world views by referencing their inherent beliefs and values. The recognized roles a leader exhibits vary widely. Some see their jurisdiction as a parent or shepherd might. Intelligent, motivated adults treated like kids or viewed as sheep, expected to submit to or strictly adhere to a decree of rule-bound policies. The emerging cadre of leaders invisibly inspires and actively engage all levels of organizations in collaborating across silos and functions, challenging and engaging an endless process of demonstrating leadership facility. In the latter case, the distinction is implicit between leader and leadership, a synthesis of actively unifying methodology and responsibility. These kinds of organizations create systems and practices inviting people to proactively refine their communities of practice already deeply embedded in an organization.

The Leader and Leadership 

Male and female, we arrive in the world with similar standard equipment – a body, brain, and mind. As prospective leaders, how we approach and use all three differ widely and matters deeply. How can I help you see your innate abilities, to think differently, see potential, possibility and then act decisively? What do you need from me and the organization to support you in making a thinking transition from ‘not me’ to ‘why not me’? These are foundational questions a leader puts forth to inspire leadership, and incidentally, it belongs to everyone. 

Leadership is frequently contextualized as a personal style framed through the lens of something unable to exist apart from the leader. So I advance a premise, is this true? The leader is a key factor and influence upon group energies but is arguably no more or less than a symbol of leadership. Why do leaders’ roles galvanize leadership within a group? How does it happen as a means of harnessing possibilities to the attainment of common objectives? The evidence says leadership exists outside the corner office. Succinctly, the presence or more conspicuous absence of group leadership determines a leaders triumph or failure as a leader.

I offer perhaps an initially benign process of meaning making for the leader and leadership as understanding the ‘why’ ‘how’ and ‘what’ of each? Consider the human body you live and its functions as the epitome of leadership. There is no single molecule, atom, or boson as the CEO. Every organ, system, and sub-function is exquisitely intricate, a part of a whole organism. There is no ‘check-with-the boss,’ ‘endless meetings’ or mini tête-à-têtes conferring with colleagues as happens in linear thinking, being and doing. Each cell and organ knows its function and role, infinitely attuned to and communicating to its constituent neighbours.

Leadership is singularly responsible for the accomplishments of an organization. The success and failure of organized effort rest firmly in the leadership capacity, an organization-wide responsibility. Leadership intimates group engagement. Attributing an organization’s achievements to a single leader is lofty, negating the support that leadership provides. This kind of thinking would deny an organization framework overseen by administration making any contribution to a corporate initiative.

Leading Organizations

The cognitive chain of leaders reasoning principles in many businesses and agencies is still closely aligned with industrial-age thinking. Learning organizations are an antiserum for today’s consumer and materially focused business. Leading organizations premise learning, that fosters cross-organizational thinking. Thinking and nurturing people, whether consciously or not performing their roles in human body fashion is today’s reality. This happens when people are unshackled from opportunist, conformist and export-focused theories, the effluence of processes born within hierarchal organization development models.

Inspired leadership thinking faces obstacles motivated to create quantum organizations. Leadership potential naturally emerges because the people working there are highly adaptive and embrace innovative ways of working. Discoveries are realized; another new mental model appears as if from thin air. Chaos and complexity theory style thinking provide the foundation footings, paradigm thinking for emerging organizations. The evidence, relevance, and application of thinking methods post-modern organizations offer promise. A continually re-fining set of tools is yielding a skill set allowing today’s leaders to quantum leap organizational transformation. The output generates sustainable change, innovation and healthy work spaces that inspire learning, creativity and a balanced lifestyle – ‘This is an overview effect of leadership.’

Jim Grant is an executive and leadership coach living in Helsinki, Finland. Are you seeking new ways of inspiring and leading people? Give him a call +358 40 178 1030 or by e-mail: jim.grant@diversitas.fi

Karkkipäivä – Lollipop Leadership / by Jim Grant

Can you be brutally honest with yourself right now and ask if you know what leadership is? What does it truly mean to you? What is the purpose of Leadership? Don’t be surprised if yours is different from mine because as I write this there are approximately 7.5+ billion possible variations of what leadership is and means. Many people not only struggle with what leadership means and is to them, if polled on the street, they’d say: “I’m not a leader.” To that, I say: “Bull-Feathers”!

Many believe it’s something around being the biggest, brightest or making a ‘planet-sized’ difference. They dismiss leadership as belonging to some one running a business, government, or multi-national organization. They look beyond the something they did that another may have (or not) witnessed about making a significant difference to someone’s life in a single moment. Stopping to open a door, carry a bag of groceries, letting someone in front of you in traffic, or giving up a seat on the bus for someone obviously in need. If you asked them, they’d probably be a bit embarrassed or say it wasn’t leadership, it was just something I do. Well, ‘that’s a true example of leadership!’

Leadership in it’s truest form is about joy and sharing that joy that’s offered to someone else because it comes from a purpose inside you. It’s shared because it makes a difference in the moment and is contagious to others who witness it.

In Finland, we have an expression “Karkkipäivä”, or “candy day”. It makes someone smile, or puts a bounce in their step because they’re getting a treat… and in a leadership sense just by doing that “spontaneous-in-the-now,” “without-looking-for-anything-in-return-just-because” moment.

This kind of leadership is an example for heads of organizations, it’s for everyone, kids on up to adults to experience and participate in. At its core, this is an overt sign that this person, right there in that moment matters, to you and someone else too. In organizations aspiring to quantum performance, it can go viral. Think of it for a moment. On a small scale, if you did one small unselfish thing for someone else every day, expecting nothing in return, what might happen? Now consider – What would happen in the world if each of us did one small leadership practice like this every day?

Jim Grant is a leadership and executive coach living in Helsinki, Finland. Interested in exploring ‘karkkipäivä-moments’ in your life or company? Give him a call @ +358 40 178 1030 or e-mail @ jim.grant@diversitas.fi

Quantum Listening / by Jim Grant

Have you noticed how in some conversations when two or more people are talking that some aren’t actually listening? It’s like watching a TV game show where the fastest hand (or tongue) on the buzzer wins and gets to go first. This is evidence of a lack of listening for understanding when someone controls a conversation, trying so hard to convince others that their position is the right one. Some insist their answer is the right and they know what’s best. Why listen? Why talk, right?

Letting go of a need to be right and genuine listening takes focus, concentration and is definitely work. The purpose of dialogue reminds us that listening for understanding is an exchange of ideas whose purpose is obtaining insights unavailable in the beginning. Being fully present is autumn listening; we learn to trust, let go of agendas and our attachments to them.  When I do, l appreciate why someone supports or opposes an idea or position. I begin listening for commitment; my own and the other person’s perspective taking and meaning making.

When speaking, I try to remind myself to listen from the heart space without expecting to convince or dominate a conversation. Sitting with what’s uncomfortable and detaching from an outcome invites possibilities to arise from the quantum field and a willingness to explore new opportunities. As an executive coach who works with leaders, I’m demonstrating a readiness to take in what’s ready to emerge from a space of mutual and emergent wisdom. It’s edgy enquiry considering ideas from the fringe of not knowing, what’s messy and possible chaos. Honouring my voice and the voices of others, I lose attachment to ritualistic rule-bound thinking and pre-determined outcomes.

 

Jim is an Integral Master Coach(TM) PCC and Certified Master Trainer(TM) of SQ and Quantum Leadership working with executive and leadership clients in Helsinki, Finland. If you’re curious about exploring quantum possibilities can offer your business, send him a note at jim.grant@diversitas.fi or call +358 40 178 1030.

A Hidden Truth – Blog by Jim Grant

 

Where have you not been in authority?

As you read and reflect, where does your attention go?

The question may summon personal evidence where a lack of awareness prevented seeing the current reality. I find, mirroring my thoughts helps shine a light on how my autonomic responses to the physical world reality are the riposte of an unfulfilled desire or outcome. Mechanical responses provide scant insight, unyielding to the “what is” vice “what was expected or desired.”

By leaning into my awareness of reality, underlines my proclivity for ‘either/or’ and separative thinking. My lack of distinction starkly contrasts ‘seeing the world as I want to see it’ versus ‘not as it is.’ In kind, gravity cares not if I know about its forces as they simply, beautifully and chaotically, arise in every moment. This perspective helps explain how a physical law insists upon its evidence of something inside quantum’s greater continuum.

Our inclination bias tends to collapse towards the apparent futility of human struggle. This perspective may be correct yet is also partial. Within the diversity of thinking where “I’m right, you’re wrong,” “I win, you lose” mindsets, are inumerable pivot-points of de-coherent discourse.

The tender roots of nerve-jangling dissonances are rhizomes of Newtonian mindsets nourished by the same reductionism, nano-sized processes, separatist and self-interest living.

If I say something with a conviction that I know “this is how it is,” I’m freezing my reality and crystallizing it. My way of seeing something is only a perspective, my worldview, and though entirely up to me and true to me, it’s still constricted and sometimes constipated thinking. Observing quantum experiments orients us towards the evidence science offers, that nothing exists for us until we observe it. When I experience and appreciate my personality self as the observer effect in an “Observer-Created Reality,” I can step onto and cross the bridge into the role of the self-authoring me in my life; a Hidden Truth quantum offers us.

If I view someone, something or an idea as witless or disconnected, I’m blueprinting and manifesting my reality this way. If I see a person, a concept or work of art as brilliant, this too becomes my reality. It’s so simple – yet a life altering world-view, a most profound perspective that we can live with. Quantum science echoes evidence of it’s “witnessing or observer effect.” It’s so curious to realize that the physical world we see, is shaped and affected by our observation of it.

To help differentiate and choose between finite Newtonian thinking, shifting towards Holism thinking, we can proactively condition ourselves with a second Hidden Truth – “Quantum Thinking” I can use inviting me to step back and consider asking the same three questions:

Why – the purpose or reason behind the need?

How – the means, values, and beliefs supporting the Why and,

What – the product, service or idea offered with integrity from your Why and How

 

Curious about how Quantum principles and thinking can inform you and your life roles? Give me a call @ +358 040 1781030 or e-mail me at jim.grant@diversitas.fi

 

Jim is an executive and leadership coach living in Helsinki, Finland.

 

P.S. Imagine… A leadership journey that let’s you get to know yourself better and also connects you with a network of like-minded people across the globe…

 

Dismantling Denial – A New Dawn© by Jim Grant

Photo: Jim Grant

 

The Consumer, Customer, and Community are Connected

“I’m working for bloody Captain Hook!”

Our coaching session had begun normally enough in helping my coachee come to terms with losing three months of hard effort trying to re-organize his division. His vision focus was on engaging staff, a company, suppliers, and community to become morally and ethically responsible for the products and services they offered. What began as an irritation and annoyance, mushroomed into a rant of working for a dysfunctional Vice-President.

“Why can’t he see everything’s connected, we’re connected, everything’s connected?”

“Why does the CEO put up with this shit?”

He continued describing his immediate boss as having a caustic personality, who was openly manipulative and self-declared of being the CEO… at any cost! Nodding knowingly I noted the ‘thorn,’ of a familiar memory of such a boss. My musing curiosity, shaking itself like a water-logged Labrador Retriever was perplexed at how organizations tolerate “scorpion’s in suits.” Meantime, well-meaning employees endure a “conspiracy of silence.” Denial is the mange, characterized by a severe itching, inflicting untold misery on an organization and its employees. What are the consequences of doing nothing?

A ‘dystopia’ is a community organism that in it’s functioning is undesirable or in some cases utterly frightening. An epic scandal surfacing in late 2001, led to the bankruptcy of the Enron Corporation, and the dissolution of Arthur Andersen, among the globe’s top five auditing/accounting partnerships. An oligarchy of totalitarian control, these organizations implicitly or explicitly expected blind subservience to its authority. These were highly intelligent people duped into believing it was OK to deny reality at an asthmatic cost.

In attempting to revise the past, tacit policies condone using illegitimate practices, inadmissible in discourse, by presenting public forged documents as genuine. The new mantra disguised as creativity becomes the ways and means of inventing ingenious, albeit nefarious reasons for distrusting genuine documents. The justification of “we’re good with this” is a warped psyche manipulating statistical evidence to support a point of view that becomes routine. At day’s end, what makes sense to you? Is it offering up and facing the facts of the simple truth; or withholding information eventually leading to corporate intellectual vandalism? So who loses when this happens? The consumer, the customer and the community – everyone loses… that’s who.

Many enterprises languish in an illusion that they’re somehow separate, external to who they in truth are, part of that same whole. Knowledge possessed by corporations is tacit knowledge. They can’t frame it but they depend on it for its lifeblood – the skills and abilities of its leaders and employees. Genius depends on tapping into the minds and hearts of people. “B-Corp” is one organization demonstrating a better alternative to the planets business and corporate communities. It’s vision is alive, inspiring and proves everyone and everything is connected:

“We envision a global economy that uses business as a force for good.”

“It takes a village…” is a proverb with its roots in Africa suggesting similar sentiments. Adopting a mindset of sound business practices and use of this aphorism in corporate cultures globally is already demonstrating its timeless wisdom. Pure, sincere visions are compelling. They evoke profound feelings of community on smaller, national and international scales. Facing what you’re denying and taking positive steps forward leads to better thinking called ‘innovation.’ Is your organization a village? What does your vision stand do for you and others? What’s its purpose?

Jim Grant is an executive and leadership coach living in Helsinki, Finland. Curious about the B-Corp way of doing business, leadership principles or how to engage people? Give him a call at +358 40 178 1030 or send a note to jim.grant@diversitas.fi

Verbal Viruses / by Jim Grant

 

Picture: Deaf Sign for Help

 

Anyone dealing with complaints and complainers knows the energy and time they rob from us and organizations where they work. Rather than complain about complainers here’s a practice you can use to move complaining into action and undercover the request behind the actual complaint.

An employee is behind in an important training project and offers their boss provisional reasons for reasons of what they see as their complaints:

“I’ve got too much to do and no time to do it”. “I need your help”.

“I need more time to complete this project”. “What was promised” or“What are your priorities” 

This is impossible, it can’t be done”. “I need more information or collaboration”.

The following is a hybrid coaching practice adapted from my early days of coaching middle managers. It helps focus quickly on the complaint story by understanding the hidden request.

There are keys things to be mindful of. Requests can be accepted, denied or negotiated.

Try this: Write down two complaints you have. Now write down two complaints you have observed from others. In each case, see if you can uncover the request that needs to be made?

Not Asking – Sounds too simple doesn’t it? People complain to themselves or others but don’t actually come out and ask. Reasons may be shyness about asking for help, worry about the imposition of asking, or a fear the request will be refused.

Unexpressed Expectations – Our private conversations very often focus on what others ‘should’ or ‘should not’ do. We find ourselves stuck and closed to making a request at all. Later, if that person doesn’t do what we expect, we’re disappointed, resentful and frustrated. Silly but still true…

Lack of Clarity – How can someone know what we want if we don’t ask? Success means being concise and specific about our request. It’s not insulting to make a clearly defined request that sets the stage for mutual satisfaction. How to do it? Begin with the statement, “I have a request?”

Moods of Requesting – Do you know anyone who makes a request feel like a demand? Or someone asking as though begging for a favour? Failing to acknowledge the request principles does not respect the moods of the person you are asking something from. Tentativeness is asking not to be taken seriously.

Activating The Observing Self – For the next two weeks observe and note your complaints.

Reflect on: 1. What is the hidden request? 2. What is your non-conscious belief about making the request?

Daily Practice – Try and understand your current way of thinking about requests with yourself and others. See if you can discover what happens around you as you go through your day?

 

Jim Grant is a Leadership and Executive Coach living in Helsinki, Finland.

Are you looking for someone who can help you design a daily practice for you and with you?

Give him a call at +358 40 178 1030 or e-mail:  jim.grant@diversitas.fi

Are you ready? – The New Work Force / by Jim Grant

They don’t want to work for you, they want to work with you. 

 

 

I was having lunch recently with a Helsinki business executive. Our conversation began with him asking how other companies deal with employee motivation and engagement. Our chat drifted to understanding difficult employees and the amount of energy and time this activity consumes. He shared how his company was being particularly influenced by a group with ways of thinking and behaving he found unconventional.

“In the last ten tears, I’m noticing how a very different mindset is challenging my managers and me.”

I asked him about the age group he was referring to and he identified the 20 to mid/late 30’s group. Probing a little deeper asking him about the general demographic trends of his company.

“It’s a bit of everything I guess, all ages.” “But it’s the younger ones I find most challenging.”  “It used to be people were happy to have a job, worked hard, didn’t complain much and were happy to work overtime when it was needed or asked of them.”

“I think I need your help… Now it’s frankly a mess! It’s like looking at paint splatters on a wall,” “Everyone want’s something different… especially the young ones.”

Countries, religion, business, ethnic races, governments, and even generations have personalities just like people. Integral and Spiral Dynamics terms frequently reference demographics highlighting their consciousness level colour and ’SG’ (specific gravity). We know people think differently because of their culture and backgrounds, beliefs and values. Anyone traveling extensively or has lived in an apartment building can affirm we seldom know our neighbours, much less belong to the same psychological community. Cultures are often grounded in ‘idealism’ helping explain the how and why of groups? Cultures provide insight as to how we need to cooperate, collaborate and can become conflicted over differences in values and the deeper strata of systems that form them.

Millennials grew up in an electronics-filled world thriving on being ‘plugged in’ and belonging to ‘their’ social network. This generation is targeted by advertisers and is receiving the glut of the marketing focus. The most ethnically varied, they are blossom on being accepting and highly adaptable to people’s differences. Raised with a mantra of  “live your dreams,” they were raised as to feel ‘special’ with to their confidence meter well off to the liberal left. These positive traits one might argue, tend towards an ‘entitlement,’ paint splattering the corporate office walls with the red and amber of entitlement. This meme holds an optimistic viewpoint about the future.

If you have them in your workplace – be curious, engage them and meet them where they are. The potentiality and genius millennials carry in mind is inspiring. I heard one young millennial recently declare after being told off by a boss publicly. As she was text-tapping away carrying on two simultaneous conversations, “I’ve forgotten more already in my twenty-four years than he would like to know…” Now poke your nose into the future a moment and see if you can bring into focus what the kids of today will be like as adults. Children in carriages are already playing with technology. What’s even more amazing is whatever quantum homonym you use to describe their affinity for technology, they solve complex problems that leave adults scratching their heads.

Jim Grant is a Leadership and Executive Coach living in Helsinki, Finland. Are you looking for someone to help pick some new colours for your company? Give him a call at +358 40 178 1030 or e-mail:  jim.grant@diversitas.fi

“I’m Fine…” – Blog by Jim Grant

The glacial pace of personal progress stands out in stark contrast to our focus on business liabilities.

 

 

A freshly minted Vice President of six months sat beside me in my home office. In casual  business banter, he was explaining why he had come to me for coaching. He had been experiencing a few sleepless nights, some guilt and regretting some career path decisions abruptly trailing off with “I’m fine, but…“ A familiar silhouette was emerging of how he had made compromises to get where he was today; stepping on some toes, taking advantage of situations and people and telling some lies. My intrusive question, “How many lies do you tell a day?” saw his jaw drop and a high pitched “What…” warble through an agape mouth.

I went on to explain that on average a person tells about four lies a day, or 1460 lies a year. We learn how to do this very young, being caught in a lie or doing something wrong we’ve learned retribution as a child is a hard task-master. Further, I shared by my math from about six years old when we start lying; I’ve told roughly 90,000 lies. “Do you know what the most common lie is that we tell?” “No,” he meekly replied, “I’m fine…” I said.

I sense why we do is because our lies embed themselves in the stories we tell ourselves compared to what lies within us. ‘So why not change,’ musing further, “I realize I am not quite ready or willing to face the change I need for myself.” It’s expedient, and I’m like a cow chewing its cud. My mind is content regurgitating and chewing on what I’ve already digested in my thoughts, memories and most of those old lies.

Business leaders I talk to offer that the real scoundrel is the polite, intelligent, civil self we convince ourselves we are becoming. Delving deeper in discussions with other executives those talks advocate something of the smaller personality self, resisting change because of how we think about something.  I went on to share how mine knows all my stories by heart parading my emotional and mental laundry before my awareness including all the soiled things. The stains on my threadbare excuses are scars of how my mind tells myself about my old hurts and my fears. Self-deception’s veil of the small self is thin and cleverly hides the details. As close as we get to the truth is along the lines of “I’m not telling a lie, I’m just not telling the whole truth.” Make no mistake, It’s in our actions, not words; how I behave, not what I say.

I’m aware I frequently know the truth before I ask the question. So why do I ask the question? I ask for confirmation. Touching my intuition (gut) and listening from there develops my capacity to connect with my truth. It’s how I reference what’s right outside of me. Being factual and honest with myself is possible when I’m present to others and speaking that truth, my truth – to myself first. Then “I’m fine…”

Jim Grant is an Executive and Leadership Coach (PCC) living in Helsinki FInland. If you would like to have a chat around personal development and leadership challenges, give him a call at: +358 40 178 1030 or e-mail him at jim.grant@diversitas.fi