The last few weeks I’ve been focusing on intention at a personal level. It’s a strange focus perhaps to spend time considering who you want to be, how you want to be. But I find over time that it’s one of the most effective way of shifting your mood and achieving more after all we are human beings not human doings.
In the last article around Biden’s inauguration and human connection, I pulled through two different themes. One around congruency and the need to stay aligned with a set of values to be someone who embodies strong values that followers can connect with. The second area focused on reinforcing connections with others and revealing sides of your character that align with positive attributes, that emphasise who you are over what you do. It is important that who you are is backed up by what you deliver but I’ve often found that the balance is slightly tipped. Who you are brings out so much more in others and in your work.
The African proverb puts this across far more eloquently.
If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.
At a personal level, the articles are both intended to empower you as a reader to see how much control you have over your state of being. Read that sentence back again, it’s quite exciting to see how you can frame your day. We’ve all felt that and felt that disconnect when events push us away from that feeling.
So, you can take control over your state of being, and even better, in doing that you can take more control over how others relate to you, how they work with you. Whether in life or work, we all know that to be true. But what if we add in another dimension?
What if you could apply those principles of being into a group or organisation? After all, a business is essential a group of people working together to serve other people.
Let me give you an example. In a recent role, I led a growing practice, and deliberately set a vision statement to be one of the largest providers in the area. A few people were confused – misreading the words to assume that we were setting out to be aggressive, territorial or a growth and power at all costs business. This wasn’t around size. It wasn’t around growing fast even. It was a conscious statement to shift our identity as an organisation to recognise that we were bigger.
The benefits of bigger were around efficiencies, opportunities, and attracting the best talent but if the numbers get larger and we still act small we wouldn’t achieve that shift. We wouldn’t realise what was on the table for the taking:
· To act as a bigger organisation,
· To imbue more power around the table when talking with peers, providers, and partners,
· More responsibility to act appropriately in terms of health and safety, employment practice.
· More security in turbulent times
· The freedom to innovate far more and to create our own path.
· The strength and confidence to influence the market around us rather than be at its calling.
Almost as if owning being bigger granted us miraculous gravitational power! Now, of course each of those is an action but you’ll be able to see how the action combined with the intent and confidence creates so much more momentum.
In other examples, where a team has had a huge negative shock, for example reputation damage, its important again to combine doing with being. I’ve worked hard to encourage leaders to shift their thinking. The combination of strategy support and coaching on a personal level is potent.
I enjoyed helping leaders to be more positive, to be more creative, to be curious, but also to encourage those states of being among their teams. It is a great tactic to reverse a negative spiral.
It is hugely empowering to realise you can design activities that would mimic even trigger that sense of being and achieve the output you desire.
So, as we head out of this financial year and into the next, as you set your annual targets or go into appraisal, consider adding in objectives that focus on the state of being as much as the activities. Remember that doing suggests that the outcome will come in the future, being means you can start pretty much instantly.
Whether your goal is growth, recovery, or maintenance you’ll be surprised at how much more effective your teams are with that little twist of words.
Get unstuck and make this your best year yet!
Words create thoughts which create action but if you’re too impatient for that to happen why not get in touch to see how we can accelerate that action today.