Monday, July 6, 2009

Being Powerful with Others

Part 5 of a continuing series on CEOing

Your number one job as a CEO - and if you do this you will be an amazing CEO - is to unleash the pent-up creativity and innovation in both customers and employees in service to their dreams. (Yes, I did say their dreams) Turning this attitude into action is at the heart of working “on” your company by fully engaging your employees in the success of the enterprise because they see themselves as an integral part of it. But it is one thing to be aware of this, and altogether another to be able to do it.

In Parts 3 and 4 of this series, I tried to leave you with a powerful insight and understanding into the invisible forces driving you. Now I want to help you leverage that understanding by introducing you to the second law of CEOing…

To be Powerful in with others, you must first
Understand Humanity and learn to Master Relationships

Understanding Humanity

When you come to understand and appreciate the untapped power within yourself, you will have an opening to understanding the massive untapped potential of others – if you have it, so do they!

The $64 million question is:

How do you tap into this power?

The first step is to appreciate that it’s not easy being human. Have you noticed that? Life is a constant struggle because - living into the expectations of others -we are trying to be someone other than who we really are. And we don’t even see that we are doing it! To tap into the authentic power of people, you must help them identify with something bigger, something more meaningful than simply the roles they play. You have to engage them in a game worth playing.

What kinds of real-world results can you expect from unleashing the power of people? In our work with organizations we consistently see:

1. A critical mass of aligned & engaged employees at every level in the organization. Up from the national level of 26% to over 80% within 90 days as measured by survey and improved performance against client specified mission critical goals and objectives
2. Measurable improvements in throughput and capacity
3. A dramatic reduction in fire fighting, wasted energy and overtime
4. Measurable gains in productivity and innovation yielding a minimum 10x R.O.I.
5. Employee teams reviewing and re engineering organizational processes
6. A dramatic growth in team led project centered growth initiatives at every level
7. Measurable relationship improvement with customers, vendors and co-workers
8. A culture of support and empowerment rather than one of command and control
9. More fun and meaning in work
10. An empowered CEO

So how do you go about unleashing this power?

There is one universal human limiting belief that must be forever undone: That people are not good enough. It’s a deep seated belief that has been seared into our collective consciousness from birth by every religion, government institution and news organization on earth and keeps us from exploring the brilliance in people. And, it has morphed into the way business occurs in the world as well.

The major difference between management and leadership is the difference between controlling people and liberating them. We control when we do not trust. We liberate when we have faith.

We have been trying for millennia to control people because we didn’t know any better. Leaders would knowingly focus people on what they didn’t want in their lives, sewing fear, uncertainty, doubt. When there was sufficient fear among the populace, they would offer safety and security in return for money or other valuable resource - many times for actual human freedoms. This approach is and has been a criminal waste of human energy.

Yet during this same time we all have seen instances of great leaders who have inspired ordinary people to achieve more than they ever thought they could. Martin Luther King comes to mind. He focused us on our own greatness and asked us to dig deep within ourselves and see our own power. He gave an entire generation hope and a way forward through non-violence. His leadership speaks for itself.

The latter approach, this kind of leadership is what CEOing is all about. Focusing your clients, and yes, your employees and strategic partners on what they really desire and want for themselves, their families and ultimately, their legacy, and then, giving them a clear way forward through your game worth playing.

Sometimes, I hear business people say, “Hope is not a Strategy!” I disagree. Hope is the most powerful Strategy in the world. In a world of not good enough, the leader that brings hope into people’s lives and engages them in a way forward will capture the hearts, minds and trust of a great many. Just step into their shoes. How would you rather live your life: Out of fear and despair; or confidence and possibility? Your answer will determine your degree of lasting success and yes, happiness.

Next Month: Mastering Relationships

Copyright 2009 Thomas A. Voccola

Entrepreneur, speaker, author and CEO Coach, Tom Voccola is the CEO of CEO2, a Chief Executive Consulting Firm specializing in the rapid transformation of corporate and organizational cultures. Tom is the author of The Accidental CEO – A Leader’s Journey from Ego to Purpose. His life’s work is to inspire a new generation of leaders who transcend ego and its fear based agenda. His work gives executives immediate and authentic access to new levels of power, influence and freedom within their organizations.