Insights, Principles, and Strategies
for Unlocking Professional Potential
“Organizations that truly focus on affecting leaders throughout their organization will always be more successful. I’ve seen it in organizations large and small, when leadership prioritizes the human capital asset, and are focused on this throughout the organization rather than just at the executive level; that’s where change really occur. That’s where differentiation occurs. That’s where culture change can happen. And because culture change won’t happen by executives making pronouncements or even by top executives being better, it happens throughout that organization,” says Jared Bleak of Authentic Development.
So, a company that will cascade these things through the organizations, will, I believe, always be more successful than the company that just focuses on developing the five top leaders. And companies that focus on leadership at every level will be more attractive to the best talent out there. They’ll be able to recruit excellent people. They’ll be able to keep their best talent. Because it’s been shown in research over and over again that companies that focus on their people and especially on their better best people and not only retain those people but can then recruit those stars or the better folks out in the marketplace. And you know, again, that people asset is so critical for success and differentiation in a really competitive market. Every company is in a competitive market, a competitive industry, and people can make the difference. So those companies that really focus on those people will achieve their outcomes.
The ability to operate like an entrepreneur really can create dynamic results. I mean, think about the Steve Jobs’ of the world, these names that are so familiar to us. They possess this distinct set of traits, the way that they have vision and the way that they’re able to identify problems and create solutions to address those problems. They know how to take risks. They’re flexible, constantly learning. And like leadership, often times, entrepreneurship is put in this box over here where, you know, only the founder of a company is an entrepreneur or, you know, that doesn’t apply to me, explains Jeff Chavez of Authentic Development.
What we help companies understand is that a project manager who begins to look at their role as a business that they own, as they begin to treat it like it’s truly their baby, it’s their business, everything begins to shift in the quality and the speed, and the culture around the entire company. And so we help individuals and professionals come to understand that…to learn how to take risks, to learn how to focus on identifying problems and then creating solutions to those the way a classic entrepreneur will do, to be flexible and to communicate well. That puts them in a better position to, you know, become the candidate for promotion. And all the way up, the leadership team begins to see that they’re entire company moves at a faster, more innovative, a more decisive, a more effective flow and pace.
So it’s our belief at Authentic Development that the combination between dynamic leadership and a entrepreneurial mindset creates a foundation that is really, really firm, really prepared to build an organization that is extremely successful, not just average, but one of those companies that actually becomes great.
“Same sport, different teams, different levels of execution, correct?” asks Jeff Chavez of Authentic Development. Same rules, pretty simple game, but there are dynamics involved in the way that the players anticipate what’s developing down field, react quickly or slowly, and then execute on the plan that the team had put in place.
Underlying all great agile companies is this one dominant foundational truth that a culture of agility is what drives these companies’ ability to succeed, thrive and survive long term.
No one likes to fail. Yet all we have heard recently is that we should “Fail Fast” or “Fail Early and Often”, explains Jared Bleak of Authentic Development.
Despite the strong advice that we should fail – I don’t think any of us have really made failure a daily goal or want to endure repeated public failure.
Failure will never feel inviting and beneficial, no matter how many times we put it into a catchy phrase or slogan. We’ve been conditioned and have an innate drive to avoid it.
But with successful people and companies advocating that we fail, what are we to do?
Why don’t we “pivot” instead? A pivot is a change of direction, a slight shift in course, a different decision we make because of past experience. And even better, why don’t we celebrate the pivots we make by talking about them openly as leaders and learning from them in order to make fewer pivots in the future?
Celebrating the pivot openly as a leader will help to create a culture of innovation around you. It will free those you lead to take more risks, to take experiments they wouldn’t have in the past, and to learn from these experiments.
Let’s not be failures, but celebrate our pivots instead. Celebrate learning, celebrate growth, and ultimately, celebrate success.
Hard work is one of the things that’s really dear to my heart. I think about my dad, my grandfather, my mom who instilled this culture in the Bleak family; that, you had to work hard to achieve anything worthwhile.
And it’s that way for any company. It’s the responsibility of leaders to create that kind of culture. They have to lead by example, they have to show the fruits of work, of hard work.
Today, hard work can be easily counterfeited with motion and social media time-drains. It requires a concerted effort to combat the constant wave of distraction by encouraging and highlighting one positive-effort experience after another, brick-by-brick.
July 13th, 2017, 7:27 PM
Wake up, work out, go to office, manage tasks and meetings, grab dinner, fall asleep, and repeat.
Realize it or not, the quality of your daily life depends on the way you lead. That’s because we all carry the mantle of leadership, whether leading your private army of one, a humble team of two, or a dynamic organization of thousands.
Beware of the belief that only those with a prestigious title are the leaders. The fact is, everyone leads. You are a leader.
The sooner you view each of your roles as a function of leadership, regardless of title; and improve your skills, the sooner you’ll accelerate performance in everything you do.