May 30, 2013 dovbaron

Developing Authentic Leadership: Hero with a Thousand Faces

When we think of Leadership and Leadership Development, it is rare to think of a leader as a hero, particularly, in contemporary times.

Unfortunately, the leaders we see are often the anti-hero; men and women who lack the real characteristics–and character–that our world so desperately needs.
While it’s easy to be an anti-hero, becoming a true hero is a more challenging path.

The great writer and visionary Joseph Campbell outlined the journey we must take if we are to become heroes in his classic work, The Hero with a Thousand Faces.

I can hear you already saying “So what? What does that have to do with me?”
I’ll tell you what it has to do with you… and with all of us.

As I just stated Leadership (generally speaking is in a sad state). Only those who have embraced the hero’s journey will become the new face of leadership.

Let me explain. In his work Campbell describes the many stages one must pass through on the “heroic journey.”

The hero usually starts off as an ordinary human being, living in his or her ordinary world; playing the role they were given by those in authority. This future hero/heroine often refuses to believe they are directed by anyone other than themselves. But then their ordinary world is shaken. Something catalytic, oftentimes tragic, happens to our future hero/heroine. This world-rocking event may come from some outside event or it may happen inside of themselves, but however it comes, it’s a major game changer. 


This event becomes “the call” to enter an adventure into the none-ordinary world
, where the heroine/hero will have to question everything they held as “real.” 

The Hero's Journey Requires Deep Curiosity

The Hero’s Journey Requires Deep Curiosity

This is the call to a deep adventure that only those with the willingness to embrace the child-like and expansive trait of curiosity can take.

If the heroine/hero accepts the call to enter a new, strange reality, they must face a series of tasks and tests. At times it will be important for our adventurer to face these tests alone. Other times there may have assistance. But they will have to face the challenges one way or the other. Before the trials are over, the adventurer will doubt their capability and sorely miss the place they came from. They will long to go back to their ordinary world, the world they left behind.

At the most intense parts of the journey, the hero/heroine will be stripped naked of all their armor and, as a result, be forced to examine their most fundamental truths (beliefs) about who they are,

the purpose of their life, and the world they have lived in. It is in this moment that the hero/heroine will most likely perceive that their very life is threatened. This often elicits the most basic elements of our adventurer. (At this point, they will likely have a breakdown that precedes the breakthrough our hero/heroine needs.)

If the adventurer survives, (does not turn away and runs back to the familiar), she or he is gifted a great prize.  This often results in the discovery of important and previously unknown knowledge and self-knowledge.

Now the heroine/hero must decide whether to return with the prize to the world/reality from which they came. Returning will in and of itself be fraught with new challenges, all of which will give the adventurer the opportunity to deny what has happened and thus throw away the prize and reject the knowledge and self-knowledge they have been given.

However, if the heroine/hero is successful in returning to the ordinary world, the prize and self-knowledge may be used to improve the world from which she or he came.

What’s fascinating to realize is that a real “hero’s journey” isn’t undertaken to gain external accolades (even though they are most often a wonderful by-product), but rather for something far more rewarding…

New Leaders Are Embracing The Hero's Journey

Leaders Are Embracing The Hero’s Journey

The new leaders of the world, whether in business, community, country or the world are hearing the call to enter into the hero/heroine’s journey.

 

Those who have embraced this journey are already beginning to change the face of business.

As difficult as it may sometimes seem, these new leaders will hold true to the path, knowing that real treasure is always hidden in the darkest place. It is in this dark place, the place you inherently fear to go in case you never come back, that everything that will give your life and your organization meaning awaits.

I know this to be true because I am a fellow traveler of this path.

I have journeyed there; I have faced the dragon that can not be slain, but merely tamed. I have also had the honor of guiding many others on their own heroic journey.

Why should you undertake such a journey if you have all you want, if you have many things that others envy?

Because somewhere within you, you know that “everything” just isn’t enough.

You know deep inside that you must enter onto the path that is the hero/heroine’s journey in order for your life to have the deep meaning you wanted it to have.  And you realize you must do this because intuitively you know that if you don’t, you will end up living a life without true importance, without true purpose, without true fulfillment.

Everything you truly desire awaits you in that darkest of places.

Remember, a Full Monty, Authentic Leader is not without fear. However, the full Monty Leader’s vision is always going to be greater than his or her fear.

So it comes down to this: You will become the hero of your own life the moment you can own that in anyway at all, you have been playing the victim of it.

Do you have the courage to be a Full Monty leader, to go in and claim that treasure on your own heroic journey?

To find out more about becoming a Full Monty Leader and building a Fiercely Loyal Army of Full Monty Leaders in your organization, go here NOW: http://FullMontyLeadership.com

I trust that you found this article valuable, if so feel free to send this to your friends.

I eagerly anticipate your feedback and comments. Please share, like and comment below!

With gratitude,

Dov Baron Speaks internationally on leadership in the new economy. He is the Leading expert on Authentic Leadership and is the world’s Only Corporate Cultural Strategist. To bring Dov in to speak to your group or organization please contact Authentic Paragon Alliance at +1 778 397 7717

P.S. Have you heard “The Full Monty Leadership” Radio Show yet? The Very Best in Personal and Professional Leadership. Dov is the Host and Executive producer of the show with almost 1,000,000 downloads. Details are at: http://FullMontyRadio.com

All contents of this blog and articles herein fall under full copyright law and are the soul intellectual property of Dov Baron International and Authentic Paragon Alliance INC

Hyper Smash

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The Top 3 Reasons “Leaders” are losing their Star Players!

The Top 3 Reasons
“Leaders” are losing their Star Players!

Unless you have been living under a rock for the past few years, you know that the recession has aggravated what already was a deteriorating relationship between employers and their employees. While things weren’t rosy before, now everyone knows someone (or has experienced it themselves!) who has been caught in layoffs, buyouts, downsizing, capsizing, and reductions in benefits, not to mention freezes on new hires, pay raises, and promotions.

And you also know the result: People are willing to abandon companies like the proverbial rats on a sinking ship because no one feels safe!

The reason isn’t rocket science. If you even suspect that the ship you are on could go down and something else comes along, there’s a good chance you’d jump ship too. Think about it.  The fear doesn’t have to be based on facts; a nasty corrosive rumour can have people racing toward the exits just as easily.

A Wharton School of Business article says that most companies can expect to lose anywhere between 20 and 50 percent of their employees in any given year. Few things are more disruptive and costly to your business than an unexpected exodus from your talent pool.

If you want loyalty, you must focus on culture over rhetoric!  Regardless of position, title, or even office size, employees who volitional walk away, generally do so because they perceive some type of disconnect with leadership and/or the values of the company. (This is best reflected in the corporate culture)

It’s no surprise to any of us, but employee loyalty is not what it used to be. In a recent survey of employee benefits, trends, and attitudes, MetLife found that employee loyalty is at a seven-year low.

So what are the Top 3 Reasons “Leaders” lose their Star Players?

Leaders must learn how to deal with conflict.

Be honest, I mean really honest. Are you comfortable with conflict?  By that I don’t mean that you are aggressively looking for some form of fight, but when conflict comes up, can you confront it with compassion and empathy? Do have the skills to resolve the issues?

If not, you can be certain that your team’s morale is going to tank faster than a preschooler who needs a nap because conflict is the nature of relationship.

You’ve got to understand that crappy moral is contagious!  Problems that don’t get addressed, be they feuds between departments (silos), interpersonal quarrels, or performance issues all negatively impact employee enthusiasm, motivation, and ultimately loyalty.

Before we go any further, I want to set something straight…small problems do not go away. Small problems that are ignored develop into resentment, and will develop into bigger problems. (Don’t believe me? Ask the person you live with…Go on, I dare you.)

A leader who does not–or cannot–deal with conflict will immediately start to lose the trust and respect of her/his employees. And you and I both know that you can’t lead without trust and respect.

That being said, a leader who is a master of conflict resolution knows that healthy conflict creates a deepening bond. (Again, if you don’t believe me, ask the person you live with if, after you have actually stopped avoiding the conflict and got it all out on the table, they inevitably feel closer to you.)

Leaders must become masterful at dealing with generational diversity.

Generational bias has always been an issue, however, now more than ever in a global economy, it can be a crippling one.  As a discerning leader, I am going to ask you an important question. Do you believe that a Baby Boomer (people born between 1946 and 1964), Generation Xer (people born between mid 1960s to the early 1980s), Millennial (people born between 1982 and 2000) are all treated equally in the climb to the top?

Here’s an example from way back in the last century. I can remember when I first started speaking to individuals and organizations of influence back in the 80s. At that time, I came across research that said it took a rookie over 100 hours to learn the skills to become a fighter pilot.

It was estimated that that same level of training could be completed to competence in around 20 hours by a GenXer because of their much higher exposure to technology. Then came the Millennials. These latest members of the work force have grown up with even more electronic interface than the generation X group, and as a result their TQ (technical intelligence) far exceeds those of the last two generations.

The challenge can be that as a leader you are likely to be either a Boomer or an Xer, have likely climbed through the ranks and invested a considerable amount of time in getting where you are today. Now you are likely to find yourself leading Millennials, while having an empathetic bias towards your own generation.

You see, part of the challenge is that we often (even unconsciously) use the time we’ve put in, rather than effectiveness, as a standard of measure. Furthermore, even if we are measuring the effectiveness of our top players, our leaders, it’s important that we examine whether our criteria for measurement may also be outdated.

The challenge is that if the criteria by which we measure authentic leadership remain the same as it was for old school leadership, we won’t be able to recognise the value that is in front of us.

 

Leaders must learn how to lead in new ways.

The most important of the Top 3 Reasons “Leaders” are losing their Star Players is because of Inauthentic Leadership!

There was a time when a leader could lead through image, reputation, experience, force or any combination thereof…However, hold on to your seats. Ladies and Gentlemen, because that train has already left the station!

Today, if you want to keep your star players, you had better find out who they are, what they care about, what “really” motivates them, and how they want to be rewarded for great work. (Check out my special report called: The Full Monty Fierce Loyalty Generator http://FMLoyalty.com)

What this means is that if you want to generate fierce loyalty in your team (and ultimately in your customer and supplier base,) you have to show up and let them see you…warts and all.

I realize that this flies in the face of what you originally learned about being a leader and elevating yourself away from your “underlings.” Although that might have worked at some point in time, that outdated model will have your Star Players deserting you and your company so fast it will make your head spin!

Of course, there are far more than three reasons Leaders are losing their Star Players. I have just focused on the top three so that you can begin incorporating change right away.

In summary, if you want to keep your Star Players you must become a master of dealing with conflict in a healthy way. You will also need to seek to understand the other generations you are working with, remembering they likely have different values and priorities than you). And finally, you must be willing to let your people in, let them see that you are more than your title, or even your experience. Let them see you as a person!

Despite what you’ve been told, the truth is that Vulnerability is Power in the new global economy!

 

For opportunities to have Dõv Baron speak for your organization, Call:

+1 778 397 7717

or contact admin@fullmontyleadership.com

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Business Growth What’s Your Business Doing?
I need to ask you an important question. What’s your business doing?  Is it growing, staying about the same or losing ground?  Now let’s be brutally honest—and I suspect if you are like most business owners, you may be tempted to deny this–but if your business isn’t growing, it’s dying!

Now that you’ve caught your breath, let’s get clear about what I mean by growing. Growing in this context is NOT about experiencing 1%-3% growthdue to the fact that you laid off a bunch of people or radically cut cost and potentially the quality of what you do/produce. That’s not growing. That’s slowing the dying process.

Real growth is more than temporarily increasing the profit margin. If we are going to talk growth in business, one of the key areas we have to discuss is the quality of the leadership.

It could be argued that leadership is the most important quality for any business professional to have. With quality leadership, nearly any and every task can be accomplished.  Think about a leader you have known in the past.  This could be a boss, a teacher, a pastor, a congressman. Did this person inspire you? Did they make you angry, or did they not affect you at all?

If you said they didn’t affect you, you’d be wrong. Despite what you may believe, there is a powerful and somewhat destructive impact of having leaders who don’t inspire us.  And the main reason leaders don’t inspire is because they are disengaged.

We know from a 2011 Gallup Poll that 71% of American workers are “not engaged” or are “actively disengaged” in their work. But don’t be fooled into thinking it’s just the worker bees who are disengaged. Many top level C-suite executives are just as disengaged.  These leaders close their office doors and distance themselves from the group they are supposed to be leading.

Obviously, this sort of leadership is not the kind you desire in your organization.  But I hate to break it to you, but there’s a very good chance that you have leaders like that in your own organization. These “leaders” have positions of authority and you may even be assuming that they are leading in the direction of growth. However, where they are really leading is in the direction of keeping their position, title, status and or lifestyle. They are not mission, purpose or growth driven. They are not actively engaged in the corporate value system. They are, however, tremendously engaged in increasing their own personal bottom lines.

They are disengaged leaders!

Now you may still want to argue that it’s not the leadership that is the problem with lack of growth in your company, but with employees who don’t care.

Let me let you in on a dirty little secret. Employees disengage for one of three reasons:

  1. 1. They are being led by a disengaged leader.
  2. 2. They are at odds with the organization’s mission/purpose and or values.
  3. 3. They are a bad fit for your corporate culture. (Assuming your company actually has a corporate culture that’s more than a concept.)

Here’s the hard line truth behind all three of these reasons: employees disengage because leaders are disengaged at some level and therefore not authentically leading!

Let’s take a closer look at those three reasons.

First, if employees have a disengaged leader, you can pretty much guarantee they will become lazy themselves.  This is not necessarily because employees are inherently lazy, but rather, because employees (like children) do not do what they are told; they simply model the behaviour of their superiors.  If the leader doesn’t care about the growth of the company, neither will the employees.

When a team is led by a disengaged leader, there’s a good chance that team members will simply just do what they have to do in order to meet their job description, and not do anything to grow themselves or your organization.

Second, when employees are at odds with the organization’s mission/purpose and or values this again indicates poor leadership, because your leaders need to be crystal clear that every person who enters your employ fully understands the organization’s mission/purpose and or values. This is not possible if the leaders themselves do not understand it.

Let me give you an example. In 2006 a multinational company brought us to Europe to work with their leadership team. This was a dramatically impactful training that clearly rattled a lot of cages. Instead of my just coming in and doing the usual rah-rah, look how great you folks are, now let’s just pat each other on the back, I challenged the heck out of them.

Why did I do this? In my pre-interview with the individuals on the team, it became obvious that they were relationally disconnected from each other. This told me they were likely disconnected from the company as a whole and were therefore in all likelihood working in a silo mentality.

After a lengthy discussion with the global CEO about the need to break these silos and get the team to genuinely not only connect but bond, we went back into session.

I began by asking a single pointed question that they were required to answer out loud in fort of their peers and without the assistance of their peers. This simple question clearly caused the blood pressure of the CEO to rise. The question was:  “Would you please state out loud the mission statement of this company?” Each answer clearly demonstrated a challenge at the core of the company because no one (with exception of the Global CEO) actually knew the answer.

No wonder they were disengaged. You cannot expect your team to be fully engaged in the growth of a company when their only connection is a paycheck. Everyone in your organization must be aligned with the mission, purpose and vision of the company if it is to experience true growth.

Finally, if an employee is a bad fit for your culture, this again falls on leadership.  If the corporate culture isn’t lived by the leaders, it indicates to employees that the culture doesn’t matter and therefore it doesn’t matter if a person fits or not.  In a “momentum culture” there is congruence at every level from janitor to the C-suite.

It all comes down to this… For your company to grow you have to have all the obvious things like a rock-solid business plan, great procedural implementation and everything else we all know is the back bone of a business. However, for growth to have momentum, it must have legs. The three legs on which your company must be built in order to continue to grow are authentic, inspiring, and transparent leadership.  In other words, A Full Monty Leader.

Now, don’t get the wrong idea. The Full Monty Leader is not a rah-rah leader.  Absolutely not!  A Full Monty Leader will occasionally anger their team, not because they are being adversarial but rather because a Full Monty Leader is required to hold a greater vision of each of the individuals of the team than the members hold for themselves. Only then can team members begin to adopt the vision for themselves. This is an essential principle that will deeply inspire the people who are in your organization for more than a paycheck.

Full Monty Leadership is about developing a culture of authentic, engaged leaders at every level of your organization.  Leaders who feel deeply emotionally connected to the mission purpose and values of the company.

When you have that kind of leadership, you not only generate fierce loyalty but develop a company that is actively growing.

So let me ask you again– What’s Your Business Doing?

For opportunities to have Dõv Baron speak for your organization, Call:

+1 778 397 7717

or contact admin@fullmontyleadership.com

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Transparency THE Key to Successful Leadership
I have a question for you. What is the single most important key to successful leadership in today’s economy?

If you answered anything except being an authentic leader, you’d be wrong.

Being an authentic leader today is no longer a preference or an option. It is crucial!

Now let me be clear.  We are not talking about the idea of being authentic. We aren’t talking about the faux authenticity of sharing something that you think will impress someone.  No, we are talking about being real and genuine, being true to who you are and what you stand for.

An authentic leader is willing to embrace that they will not be everyone’s cup of tea, and what’s more, they are good with that realization. The leaders who are blazing the trail of new leadership are dedicated to developing deeper and deeper authenticity not only in themselves, their teams, but also in all their relationships on an ongoing basis.

They are willing to be who they really are.

Authentic leaders are dedicated to knowing themselves at deeper and deeper levels.  They embrace their own imperfections and they don’t pretend to have it all together.  They are transparent and they are honest about their imperfections, their inadequacies and the challenges they face. Where the old school leader would disown their failures or weaknesses, the authentic leader allows those things to propel them forward, because they understand thatVulnerability is Power.

As counter as it may seem to your original training as a leader, you need to know this at the depth of your being, so let me say it again:  Vulnerability is Power. Vulnerability is the power that will bond your star players to you and your organization. It will also bond your customers and providers to you with fierce loyalty.

I know what some of you are thinking. If you look and act confident that should be enough.  Let me tell you, if you think wearing your mask of confidence is going to work, you are dreaming! People can smell a fake a mile away.  That mask is screaming your insecurities so you might as well hang it up and become transparent.

So what is transparency?

Yes, transparency is about admitting your imperfections, your inadequacies and your challenges. However, it’s also about sharing your values, your mission, your vision and the meaning of why you do what you do. Transparency means opening up and sharing ideas, thoughts, goals, aspirations, values, worries, concerns and even downfalls.

Today’s workplace places high demands on both leaders and employees.More and more employees are now insisting on clearly stated reality and truth.  Apart from the need of a secure job and opportunities for career advancement, present workers desire to be part of a firm that prioritizes truth, trust and transparency. They desire to have proactive leaders who share with them the direction of the organization and are forthright about the future. They want transparency in order to plan for their lives.

Instead of just being content with having a job, today’s employee will often quickly jump ship if the leader they are supposed to follow is unwilling to demonstrate clarity of the future and transparent leadership.  (I go into detail about this in my special report on Becoming a Fierce Loyalty Generator. You can find it here: http://FMLoyalty.com)

Because many companies lack awareness regarding the needs of employees, they struggle to hold on to their star players. As stated in that special report–few things are more disruptive and costly to your business than an unexpected exodus from your talent pool. Despite the initial discomfort of removing the mask, in organizations where transparent, authentic leadership is made a priority, massive losses are prevented.

None of us can be authentic unless we are willing to admit our frustrations, insecurities and weaknesses. This is not to suggest that you should sit around moaning, complaining and whining about your problems—that would be a very poor career move.  However, in both our personal and professional lives, it is crucial that we open ourselves up to a close circle of people we can trust.

All that being said, transparent leadership starts with something few leaders have the cojones to do:  self-examination.

As leaders we can get carried away with knowing all the answers foreverything else outside ourselves and rarely do we take the time to know more about what’s inside ourselves.  In addition, all of us have a spot of denial about our own foibles.

Let’s face it, denial is far easier than facing the harsh truth that we may have some dysfunctional behaviors that we need to deal with. But if we are to become an authentic leader, we need to take off the self viewing rose-colored glasses, increase our self-awareness and uncover our blind spots. In short, you need to know your strengths so that you can capitalize on them. At the same time, you need to know your weaknesses so that you can delegate and deal with them.

Being an authentic leader means having an awareness of the true emotions behind what you feel. In Full Monty Leadership we say, “We are never just mad about what we are mad about.” What this means is your anger may be a cover up, a way to mask your disappointment, fear, shame, jealousy, embarrassment, shame or guilt.  Because authentic leaders are will to always go deeper into self-examination, they can recognize the root of an emotional reaction, and by doing so, gain the power to manage it. (This gives the Full Monty Leader exceptional relationship skills)

Can you honestly (not rhetorically) say why you do what you do in your position? Do you know what irritates you and what soothes you? Are you aware of your own dark side (we all have one) and how to deal with it? In order to be authentic and genuine in all your communications you must know yourself very well and be committed to remaining truly authentic even when it’s uncomfortable.

Because nothing generates fierce loyalty faster that an authentic leader.

Do you have the cojones to become one?

For opportunities to have Dõv Baron speak for your organization, Call:

+1 778 397 7717

or contact admin@fullmontyleadership.com

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