Jim Kouzes and Barry Posner have a combined 97 years of experience in the study and practice of leadership. In their most recent book, Learning Leadership, the authors maintain their long-standing position that how you behave as a leader matters the most to others. The authors write, “exemplary leader behavior makes a profoundly positive difference in people’s commitment and performance at work, and contributes more to such factors as engagement, loyalty, motivation, pride, and productivity than does any other single-variable.” Jim and Barry’s extensive research shows that leader behavior is a 40% driver of employee engagement, the discretionary effort willingly put forth by the workforce.
Hay Group was founded in 1943 by Edward N. Hay. Formerly a senior personnel manager, Hay believed that “the most successful companies of the future will be the ones that take full advantage of improved personnel techniques.” He went on to pioneer many of the people management practices that make businesses succeed today. Hay Group currently has 86 offices in 49 countries and much like Kouzes and Posner, have done extensive research on leadership and its impact on culture, climate and performance. Their work in the area of climate has shown that “what it feels like to work inside a company” is one of the single biggest contributors to organizational performance – as much as 28%. And again, leader behavior or in Hay’s words, leadership styles, impacts climate as much as 70%.
It’s hard to overstate the impact that leaders have on those around them. The positive, force multiplier effect of leadership done well has been proven time and again. And the most important aspect of “leadership done well” is simply how the leader shows up – acts, behaves and makes decisions - on any given day, and in any given moment.
Over the last 12 years, we have had access to some of the best thought leaders, practitioners, and academics on the subject of leadership and leader behavior. The collective agreement is how leaders typically show up at work (and in life) comes down to two things; the first is who the leader is (their core, authentic self), and how they are doing (their state of being); and the second is what the leader does and for who (the demands of their job), and how they are performing (their state of doing). We refer to these as Leader Being: Best Self in Life, and Leader Doing: Best Self at Work. And while the two are integrated, we can examine them separately to better understand our current state of being and doing, and opportunities for self-actualization and mastery as we look to the future.
We believe leadership in the future of work is an inside out job in that it is more about who you are, than what you know. As such, our Leadership Development and Coaching practice leverages a flywheel process for growth and development that begins with Self-Understanding - a deep understanding of who the leader is (their authentic self), and how they are doing (their state of being); and what the leader does and for who (the demands of their job), and how they are performing (their state of doing). We refer to these as Leader Being and Leader Doing.
From here, we can begin the work of Self-Actualization - becoming our best self – and tap into the limitless potential innate in all of us through the design and execution of a comprehensive coaching and development plan. Self-Reflection increases our self-understanding, and subsequently our ability for enhanced self-actualization thus confirming our belief that we can continuously grow and develop over the course of our lives.