In the course of one weeks time, unsolicited, I had no fewer than 5 conversations about genuine people, or in-genuine, as the case may be. Twice is a coincidence. So I began to wonder about it. Could be I have friendly face, that people feel they can tell me things? Which coincidentally probably helps as a counselor/ facilitator. Or could it be that Texan aura? Many from the South hold little or no value in pretense. This caused me to wonder about regional personality. Within all of this wondering, thinking and postulating there were some certainties that came about.
One certainty that is clear to me is that I do not want to be surrounded day after day in my work life by people who are not genuine, or able somehow to tap into their genuine and authentic selves. I equated, at one time, “corporate” with inauthentic and all that that distinction holds. What this means is, I avoided dealings in corporate work unless clients came to me either individually or in groups. At which point, I was very excited there were persons in that group who indeed wanted more, by way of connection through out their work day/week/month/years.
Now being a student of human behavior, one can see broader aspects of the situation, that by which corporate equals in- genuine, a chicken and egg conversation if you will. People react to the messages they have received throughout their lives. Some messages were sage and strong, others were based on generations’ old mores, and still others were simply fear – based.
What I do know is a strong leader functioning well in this day and age is one that is connected to their people. The payoff 20-40 years ago was; “after 20 years of loyalty we get a pension”. Now, we know that neither loyalty or longevity, guarantee promotions, pay raises, or pensions. So it reasons that if that motivation no longer exists, we would do well to play by a new set of rules. The new set of rules, are the up and coming way of doing business (some companies fully grasp, other not at all, and all variants in between). The rule is “if I like it and it benefits me- I’ll stay”. So companies that figure out more on this motivation, new rule and how to inspire the kind of loyalty they desire will have a better return on investment. Hiring, training, and retaining employees is a very expensive endeavor. Seems to me it is easier, cheaper and stronger for a company to train it’s leadership up.
In the conversation of ‘genuine’, it was also said that leadership is more of an art than a science. So if you have, as mentioned above one or all of the three categories of people: emotionally mature, old school, and scared, then your gonna need a trainer that understands the difference between managers and leaders. There is a broader conversation to making transitions that work than one may realize. By the way there is a similar conversation happening in other arenas as well, such as the education system, but that is for another day. It has been said, “we grow with the times or get left behind”.
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