Michael came out of the meeting with Lynda shaking his head. “Maybe it’s just a silo thing,” he thought, figuring that Linda and her department were being overprotective and unwilling to communicate openly with other departments. Deep down, though, he knew the truth: there had always been tension between himself and Lynda. Even though they both believed they had enough leadership skills to reach being C-level executives (although Michael secretly thought Linda was a bit of a B), working together was becoming increasingly difficult.
From Micheal’s point of view, Linda refused to compromise on anything. After that last meeting with Lynda, he was beginning to consider the offer he had received from that headhunter. He didn’t want to leave the company. He really liked what they were about; he just didn’t know how to deal with Lynda.
Lynda, on the other hand, had a very different perspective. From her point of view there was more at stake than personal opinions; she was committed to the vision, mission and purpose of this organization. After all, it was those things that had won her over and gotten her to leave her former job. She felt that the minute anyone in the company began compromising on those things was the minute she would begin to look elsewhere. And that minute might just have come with the meeting with Michael.
Why should you care about Lynda and Micheal’s challenges?
Because, as I’m sure you are aware; the number one challenge for top executives is corporate loyalty. In other words, getting the super talented to stay with the corporation is the single hardest task facing those at the top.
In an earlier article on Corporate Culture I shared with you the idea that what leaders think their corporate culture is and what it actually is, are often two very different things!
So, let’s take a look at one way a very well intentioned Corporate Culture ends up falling apart.
Fear of Conflict and Resentment.
Carrying a fear of conflict actually ends up creating resentment. This resentment becomes an underlying cancer that will eat away at the fabric of your culture. And once the fabric of your culture begins to erode, you are going to have a major problem with keeping your best employees.
(Before we go any further, I want to set something straight. To have a healthy corporate culture that has ongoing momentum, healthy conflict must not only be encouraged, but your team must be trained in how to facilitate healthy conflict amongst themselves and with their subordinates. When members of a team have not been given a way to have healthy conflict, they begin to disengage even from an organization they truly believe in, as the story of Lynda and Michael shows.)
You may never have considered that fear of conflict is massively detrimental to the growth of the individual. Furthermore, it’s perfectly logical that this stunted growth on the individual level will stunt the growth of the team and ultimately the whole organization within short order.
In other words, what’s happening with individuals is going to have massive impact on the entire organization.
That’s where authentic and effective leadership plays a major role.
The fact is an authentic leader must be an effective leader and that demands healthy conflict skills. What may surprise you is that we at Authentic Paragon Alliance have found that developing healthy conflict skills not only deepens understanding and generates a greater bond between the individuals involved, but it also create a greater bond to the organization.
And what is another name for that bond?
I trust that you found this article valuable. If so feel free to send this to your friends. Can YOU define your corporate culture?
I eagerly anticipate your feedback and comments. Please share, like and comment below!
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