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As a leader if you’ve waiting for everyone else to start modelling candour and authenticity, it might be a while. Our jobs as leaders is to model the behaviours we’d like to see demonstrated by our boss, our direct reports, and our peers.
Being candid and authentic means taking a risk to say what’s true for you, even though your opinion may not match up with the rest of the people in the room. This takes courage. There’s a great line in the movie We Three Kings, that demonstrates this: George Clooney says, “courage isn’t what you need, courage is what you get as a result of taking a risk.” This applies 100% to candour.
Here’s what I’ve seen when teams try out candour as a new behaviour particularly during strategic planning experiences:
- people respond by saying, “wow, I was thinking something similar but didn’t have the guts to say it out loud.”
- other people respond to candour with comments like, “I’m so glad you had the courage to say that. I didn’t realize a lot of the facts you brought up and how passionate you are about them.”
- teams finally talk about the “real stuff” that’s going on
- the strategic plan ends up being far more engaging and the level of alignment around the plan just up
- there’s an increase in ideological conflict as more conflicting ideas on what’s right for the company/organization/team come to light (a very good thing)
- peoples true passions and excitement come alive around the key issues, opportunities, and challenges, your team is facing
If any of these sound like outcomes you’re looking for then the next step is to take a risk, experience your courage, and demonstrate to your team that you are willing to be authentic, candid, and say what’s true for you.
What’s your experience been around candour?
The key to helping turn managers into leaders is to ensure the process you use is simple and easy to implement; you can always layer on complexity later. Here’s a five-step approach for starting down the path of developing your managers into leaders:
The recent recession slowed that war, as boomers planning to retire saw their RRSPs, investments and pensions take a massive hit. As these investments begin to recover to pre-September 2008 levels, it’s again becoming attractive for boomers to consider retirement or early retirement.
“There can be as much as a 10- to 15-year experience gap between retiring leaders and high potentials.”
I’ve spoken to a number of executives lately who are concerned about their corporate culture and who want to know the key areas for leveraging change. Here are four areas that influence culture directly and are in your control as an executive team:
- What behaviours we allow (we teach people what okay and not okay)
- What we reward (monetarily or through praise, promotion, and recognition)
- Who we hire, what we look for when we hire, and who we help “exit” the business
- The visible behaviours of the executive team we demonstrate to the rest of the company