A Look in the Mirror

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Imagine everyone in the organization had the same attitude that you exhibit today. Imagine you hear people in your company saying what you just said, in the tone you said it. Imagine the members of your executive team each acting consistent with your level of self-interest and self-focus. What, then, would your organization “look like?”

Would an organization that mirrors your attitudes, words and behaviors, be a good thing or a bad thing?

News flash – your organization does, to great extent, mirror who you are. Case in point: A few years back a global client changed leadership, bringing in a CEO with a dictatorial, results-at-all costs, people are expendable approach to the business. Over subsequent years we watched as their culture morphed into one of mistrust, cynicism, and “every-man-for himself.” 

On the other hand, we had privilege to work for a CEO who took the reins at a struggling pharma company. This leader came in with a positive, collaborative, respectful approach and was able to align the organization on a positive, constructive outlook, thereby engaging and motivating employees even in the face of difficult business challenges. 

For more evidence on how the head molds the body, we need look only as far as our own households. What we will see is that many of us behave to some extent as our parents do, and we often observe our children acting as we do. 

If we want to see different and better behaviors in our organizations, on our teams, in our families, we do best to look in the mirror for a healthy dose of self-awareness. As Gandhi once said: “You must be the change you want to see in the world.” 

The leader’s role is to cast direction and create an environment where people are motivated and equipped to achieve worthwhile goals. The example set by the leader in thought, word and deed – in every interpersonal interaction – has significant effect on how the people below respond and behave.

The long and short of it, in every interaction, “you either give life to that person or you suck the life right out of them.” What will it be for you?Davis H. Taylor, TAI Incorporated, davis.taylor@taiinc.com

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