Why are people not working hard in Romania or elsewhere

Context: You have already heard about the lack of commitment at the international level, and you may look around like me and see at any hour of the usual working day that most are out, taking a cigarette “break” about 5 hours out of the regultaed 8. Why?

Explanation: I find two reasons for explaining: A) people do not like to work in the place where they are; B) people have a definition of work that does not contain the idea of ​​performance (growth). For these two reasons, I will make two articles. This is the first.

A. Inconvenient Work

Contents

  1. The entropy of values ​​explains the inconvenience of work
  2. How does one reach the entropy of values?
  3. What does entropy of values ​​look like?
  4. What does organizational culture look like?
  5. What are the personal values?
  6. Where does “character mismatch” come from?
  7. How do you know your values ​​and how do you figure out if your work environment supports them?
  8. Conclusions
  9. Resources

1. The entropy of values ​​explains the inconvenience of work

  1. when you value learning but in your work environment you see continuous examples of lack of interest in learning and rather an obvious focus on rigid compliance with bureaucratic rules and standards, you will become demotivated;
  2. when you value the respect and appreciation of the results obtained on the merit but around you do not see at all behavioral evidence of these values ​​but of a mentality such as the use of opportunities for advancement you will become demotivated.

The words thickened above are just as many values ​​of a man and those inclined – of his working environment. His values ​​are personal values, the context’s values ​​are cultural/ collective values.

In other words, anyone who values ​​personal values ​​X in a context where the collective values ​​Y are the priority, will be demotivated: he will very often find examples of the fact that his values ​​are not appreciated by others in that environment – who, in exchange appreciates other values.

This difference is called the entropy of values: the difference between my values ​​and the surrounding cultural values.

2. How does one reach the entropy of values?

  1. people do not really know their personal values ​​and get to work in companies with different values, to move to cities and countries with different values;
  2. companies do not know their real values ​​(not the ones displayed on the walls) and they get to hire the wrong people.

3. What does entropy of values ​​look like?

Figure 1 – Example of analysis of the entropy of values ​​in a company

In the image above, the entropy (22%) is the statistically calculated difference between personal values ​​(column 1) and the values ​​existing in the current culture (column 2). Column 3 shows the values ​​desired by the 105 employees of the company in this example. The corresponding nominal values ​​(top 10) are presented below the 3 columns.

As you can see:

  • Fairness” is a common value for 50 of the 105 employees and “making a difference” is the second representative value (42 employees).
  • In contrast, 56 of these employees observe that around them, the predominant value is “brand image“, and the next important value classified is “teamwork” (42 employees).
  • None of these two noticed values ​​”pushed up front by the company” are in the top 10 of employee values. In other words the employees want something while the company has no ears.
  • 22% is a high degree of entropy – not serious, but high – so high that the commitment in this company is most likely below 40% !!!
Figure 2 – The statistical link between the entropy of values ​​and the degree of motivation of the employees

4. What does organizational culture look like?

Organizational culture looks like a measurable collection of collective values, just like in the example below.

Figure 3 – Example of analysis of the values ​​perceived in a company (1/2)

The image is a small part of a real company values ​​analysis report. At the end of this article, you will find an example of such a report.

The analysis of the values ​​of a company, which brings to light the systemic cultural entropy, produces many perspectives on the respective company, including this image of the limiting values ​​perceived by employees (see the following figure):

  • 12% of the employees observe around them manifestations of (informational) confusion, bureaucracy, silo mentality (“we, from the marketing dept.…”), hierarchy, long working hours, concealment of essential information, display of power. To these are added another 4% + 6 & – in total reaching 22%.
Figure 4 – Example of analyzing the perceived values ​​of a company – potentially limiting values ​​(2/2)

5. What are the personal values?

Personal values ​​are what we value more than anything else, our basic needs. As we know today, after 100 years of psychological research, these needs/ values ​​have a certain hierarchy that develops to some extent concomitantly with the biological development of an individual. This hierarchy also represents a hierarchy of how we see the world – at certain ages.

6. Where does “character mismatch” come from?

In the case of the employees in our example, the statistically accumulated personal values ​​look like in the image below, forming a kind of “typical employee of this company” (a kind of persona):

Figure 5 – Example of analyzing employee values ​​within a company

This persona (the typical employee of the company) has mostly level 3 needs/ values (in the second article of this series I will explain more): his actions “must be characterized” by logic, efficiency, quality, is based on experience and achievement (meritocracy). Equally, this person has level 5 needs: fairness, done with a spirit of responsibility (commitment), through cooperation and trust. Now you can pretty clearly imagine this employee, right?

On the other hand, the company persona, if we can say so, is one that is best characterized in Figure 3 – Example of analyzing the perceived values ​​of a company (1/2) – also shown below. What emerges would be a kind of mentality / personality dedicated to results and the image of the constituent teams in front of clients and also confusing, bureaucratic and secretive.

AND THEN IT IS NORMAL AS OUR LOGIC, EXPERIMENTED, CORRECT AND CONCERNED ABOUT OWN MERITS RECOGNITION PERSONA – representing the “typical employee”

do not get along well with

THE CONFUSED, COMPLICATED AND SECRETIVE HIERACHIZED, CENTERED ON RESULTS & IN NEED OF CLIENTS APPRECIATION PERSONA – represented by the company.

7. How do you find your values ​​and how do you figure out if your work environment supports them?

I am certified and internationally qualified to use and interpret – analyze the results of the methodology considered “gold standard” in the field of values, Richard Barrett Values ​​System.

Personal values ​​can be found with tools specific to this methodology. This assessment can help you:

  • to know your values ​​and to align your daily behaviors with them, so that in time you become genuine and stressed;
  • to know what you want in life, what you need and which of the distractions and baits of society are for you and which are not;
  • to know what others in your team think about you, which is the difference from what you think about yourself, where this difference of perception comes from and how you can correct it so that you are perceived at your true value (at work or in life added).

Collective values ​​(at a team or corporate level) can also be found with specific tools and allow a company to:

  • know the real culture of the company, the one actually experienced by employees every day (with detailed explanations by departments, ages/generations of employees, hierarchical levels, gender, geographical location, seniority in the company, etc.);
  • align all work structures and processes so as to amplify the good effects of the values ​​expressed by the employees and to diminish the negative effects (absenteeism, turnover, poor performance, lack of commitment).

8. Conclusions

  • Personal values ​​are our fundamental needs that guide and order our lives most often unconsciously, day by day;
  • Culture (a team, organizations, nations) is the collection of values ​​shared by individuals in that group;
  • Cultural entropy represents the difference between personal values ​​and the environment in which we operate;
  • When the entropy is high, the individuals become demotivated and characterized by absenteeism, low morale, inefficiency and low commitment, high turnover (departures). When entropy is very high (over 50% -60%), there is the risk of bankruptcy, civil war or uncontrollable social movements (Richard Barrett has accurately identified the social risks in Venezuela – national bankruptcy – the United States – Donald Trump’s rise – and the Great Britain – Brexit-).
  • Entropy leads to the first reason why people do not work hard: they do not find themselves in the work environment.
  • Solving the cultural entropy of an organization is the responsibility of the management of that organization.

In the next article I will detail the second reason: employees have a definition of work that does not contain the idea of ​​performance.

9. Resources

An example of the analysis of the values ​​of a company.

Why does culture eat strategy for breakfast.

700% Leadership Coaching ROI (return on investment): more than 20 studies

Until 25 years ago, nobody knew anything much about coaching. About 10 years ago, nobody asked anything about its real efficacy. Yesterday I got involved in a Ph.D. research of a nice friend and coach, research granted by Harvard and conducted within Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, in which my friend Tunde Erdos studies the relationship between coaching presence and its efficacy, using state of the art video-analysis software. 

Being the industry with the second highest development rate in the world, coaching deserved better than just the constant questioning of its efficiency. How can you measure, after all, the efficiency of a human conversation? Who benefits the most? The client? The coach? The organization? Client’s family?

I love statistics and figures in general but I am no fanatic. I sometimes use my intuition to decide whether or not something is for me or not: how could you measure the success probability of your marriage? It’s no mistake here: I got married to coaching the same way I got married to my wife: by falling in love, not by measuring my (future) ROI. Leap of faith!

Anyway, I got asked so many times if coaching produces any results, that I finally decided to do something about it. I created a library where you will find lots of research papers and studies. I just want to outline several of the findings below:

1. “The overwhelming majority of participants reported a long term impact of coaching, including 89% of those coached five years ago and 71% of those coached more than five years ago”

2. “Executive coaching is the managerial training and development method that contributes the most to sustained observable behavior change in executives.”

3. “Ordinary training typically increased productivity by 22%, while training combined with life coaching increased productivity by 88%”

4. “Respondents feel that coaching achieves the following desired outcomes: evidence of learning being put into practice (71%) and readily-quantifiable and positive results, often demonstrated on the company’s “bottom-line” over the long term (62%)”

5. “This third-party research study cites a 10:1 return on investment in less than one year.”

6. “Improved teamwork (8.4%), increased collaboration (8.5%), increased employee engagement (8.1%), increased retention by 7.5%”

7. “Quality of work products or services improved by 7.5%, productivity increased by 7.3%, net revenue was estimated to have increased by 6.5% and the cost of operations was estimated to have been reduced by 6.3%.”

8. “86% rated coaching as very effective; 95% are doing things differently as a result of coaching, and 95% would recommend coaching to others”

9. “Improved teamwork was cited by 58% of the leaders as having been impacted. Team member satisfaction was identified by 54% of the leaders as being impacted by what they did differently as a result of their coaching experiences. Increased productivity was cited by 31% of the leaders as a business outcome of their coaching

10. “The results – close to 700 percent return on investment (ROI)”

The 2 leadership meta-skills you can develop in one year to become your best version

 

What leadership skills do you need to develop?

You will find thousands of articles on this topic. But basically, you never start from scratch, by developing all kinds of skills at once. You only need to know there are several such skills helping you get all the rest.

There’s no fixed set of leadership skills, either; instead, you may concentrate on the ones you need to reach your goals. Nowadays, the most talked about ones, are: relating to others, “we” thinking, caring for others, team playing and collaboration, interpersonal and intrapersonal intelligence, balance, continuous learning, authenticity, integrity, systems thinking and systems awareness, connecting the dots, purposeful thinking, vision.

Continue reading “The 2 leadership meta-skills you can develop in one year to become your best version”

Beyond heroic leadership

 

What is heroic leadership?

We live in a world full of ‘childish’ explicit expressions: hero based blockbusters, Santas bringing gifts, leaders running businesses and nations as (mostly) patriarchs. Our shared stories contain heroic deeds and there’s also The Hero With A Thousand Faces or Hero’s Journey. Our favorite music bands have ‘frontmen’. And so on… look around. Basically, the world serves us on the platter (no maturity here) different things, cherishing and indulging our childish sap while obstructing our psychological maturity development.

Continue reading “Beyond heroic leadership”

Leadership coaching for new managers.

I was a new manager, once, and I didn’t receive any coaching. Maybe, as a direct result, ‘my’ first team (11 people) left me entirely in the first month of working ‘together’. Out of all the possible ways a company may engage a new manager, leadership coaching is the fittest one. Let me show it!

Why new managers fail

It is assumed that around 50% of the new managers fail in their 1st year. Confusion is the main and most important reason: confusion in their mind, their hearts, and their actions. The most adaptable will thrive. In business, adaptability is learning. 

  • Heart Confusion‘: they do not deal correctly with the dilemma ‘friendship of friendliness’. Promoted as a new manager over your former teammates? Prepare for a year of exile.
  • Mind Confusion‘: ‘What do I have to do (now)?’, ‘Who’s telling me what to do?’, ‘What do I tell my reports?’ All these confusions appear as a result of the role change. And no one has time to give you the ‘whats’, the ‘hows’ and the ‘whys’. Prepare for a year of wrong decisions and afterthoughts.
  • Actions confusion‘: what got you here won’t get you there. But you do not know this so you will continue to do what you know. You will remain operational and micro-manage ‘tasks’ instead of being more strategic and lead your people. The phrase ‘someone wonderful at their job will be really good at managing others who are doing that same job’ describes a big myth. Executing mentality is pretty different from the managing mentality.

What new managers need to know

  • A new manager will have lots of meetings (more than before and than everybody else, except the other new managers); 45% of a week’s time, to be precise. The boss being absent, the team will suffer. But the boss has to know everything. So that, in the search for clarity, he gets increasingly overloaded with information.
  • A new manager will learn to say ‘I’m busy’ all the time, even if he isn’t so busy. Ego inflation comes with the new job. Ego preservation requires a great deal of energy – which will be lost for learning. Learning, on the other hand, presupposes dropping the ego, asking for feedback, speaking with authenticity to your reports and humbleness to your managers.
  • A new manager will lose former colleagues-friends and he will gain new managers-friends. He will be confused and he will suffer because of the losing but they will heal the pain with new friendships, with people of a different status, more like them. 

How new managers become great managers 

At any beginning, one has to sit, listen, ask and learn about the new job. This is learning and adaptability. Learning and adapting to real task management and people leadership.

Ask for clarity above you: do not presuppose.  This is a learning and exquisite data gathering tool for great decisions. Your decisions. And this kind of decisions lead to great task management!

Ask for feedback bellow you: do not presuppose.  This is a learning and exquisite communication tool with your team. And this kind of communication triggers great people leading!

What has leadership coaching got to do with it?

  1. At its core, coaching offers clarity. A coach offers objective feedback and asks genuine questions leading to clarity because he sits on the circumference of any of the problems having a new manager in the center. 
  2. The second reason coaching is good for the new managers is that it offers a learning space – where the leader becomes more adaptable, discerns, understands and learns the new mentality. This is the space where the new manager has the time, support and proper rhythm to make meaning from his new experiences, to reflect on and consolidate their lessons.

We offer leadership development plans co-created through coaching. We know that the need and learning stamina for leadership development is greatest in the new managers. We believe that by developing great personalities and strong individuals from the beginning of their managerial careers, this world’s future becomes brighter.


Why leadership development programs fail (the integral explanation)

When you search the internet for ‘why leadership development programs fail’ you will end up with more than 40 million hits but none related to ‘integral failure’.

99% of the leadership development programs fail because they miss one or more quadrants of what integral development is.

An integral leadership development program is covering at the same time:

  1. leader’s personality and inner narratives (Upper Left quadrant), growth mindset, motivations (for and about learning, advancing, growing – things others can not see)
  2. leader’s actions and behaviors (Upper Right q.), deeds and decisions (what others can see)
  3. leader’s cultural context (Lower Left q.), shared values, collective meaning-making, company’s culture, family – things others can not see
  4. leader’s non-cultural context (Lower Right q.), hierarchies, processes, systems – things everybody can see.
An integral leadership development program is covering at the same time: 1. leader's personality and inner narratives (UL q.), growth mindset, motivations (for and about learning, advancing, growing - things others can not see); 2. leader's actions and behaviours (UR q.), deeds and decisions (what others can see); 3. leader's cultural context (LL q.), shared values, collective meaning-making, company's culture, family - things others can not see; 4. leader's non-cultural context (LR q.), hierarchies, processes, systems - things everybody can see.
The Integral Perspective Of Leadership Development

Let’s map the reasons given for failing (main reasons are marked accordingly):

1. Failures in the UL Quadrant: Leadership Motivation And Mindset

  • programs are the ‘one size fit all’ type, missing the personalization; they are designed and thought of as quick fixes and silver bullets, products and commodities instead of ‘individual maps’
  • learning reflection is decoupled from real work  (lack of follow-up, bad learning technology, lack of application)
  • underestimating change beliefs: there is an ‘actionable’ UR quadrant type of programs which are trying to directly change leadership behaviors, missing the core idea in psychology: that mindsets put behaviors in motion.
  • the subject leaders are not confronted enough in their mindsets, the stakes of the program are low, formal and ineffective
  • there’s a difference of mindsets between program’s facilitator and the subject leader
  • the leader does not own the ‘accountability’ of the program, is not interested, does not invest resources and motivation into it (company does)
  • leader’s capacity for and style of learning is different from what the program proposes

2. Failures in the UR Quadrant: Leadership Skills And Behaviors

  • failing to follow-up/ apply in real life the insights from the program
  • wrong identification of the skills needing development

3. Failures in the LL Quadrant: Culture of Learning

  • overlooking/ underestimating the power of cultural context: if the system of relationships does not change, it will set people up to fail. The environment is more powerful than almost anybody’s power to change it.
  • lack of support from stakeholders (sponsors, work colleagues family, etc.)

4. Failures in the LR quadrant: Leadership Development Plans

  • not having an implementation plan, but mostly a one-time event (training, offsite meeting, coaching session) or an open-ended program
  • misalignment among leader’s values, company’s values and facilitator’s (program’s) values
  • bad timing in the general context of the economy/ company
  • wrong choice of the program’s content (teaching? mentoring? coaching?)
  • lack of 360 evaluation in the end

How to create an effective leadership development program

In conclusion, a good leadership development program should:

  • deeply understand the inner universe of the leader (UL quadrant) and take it into consideration in designing the program (development beliefs, style of learning, enneagram type, level of awareness, predominant types of intelligence, accountability, personality, etc.)
  • work with leader’s daily routines, typical actions, behaviors and transforming them by co-creation, avoidance, preservation or deletion try to measure development evolution (UR q.)
  • imply as much from the leader’s cultural context (family, peers, bosses, subordinates) by 360 interviews with any stakeholder of the program (LL q.)
  • align the program with the organizational context, sponsors guidelines, prerequisites, and inputs, measure the outcomes of the program as visible effects in the larger context  (LR q.)
It's all about the dynamic alignment of individual (leader's) and collective (company's) vision (inner motivation) and mission (outer manifestation).
It’s all about the dynamic alignment of individual (leader’s) and collective (company’s) vision (inner motivation) and mission (outer manifestation).

At leadershiplan, we created the perfect formula for leadership development: leadership plans co-created through coaching, with the first phase of deep diving the inner universe of the leader (UL quadrant), a series of practices and routines carefully crafted to develop new leadership habits and skills (UR quadrant), implying all the cultural context through 360 interviews of the stakeholders (LL quadrant) and implying the sponsors and company from the beginning to the end of the program (LR q.). See an example!

Strong Leadership Development Starts With These 15 Positive Change Beliefs

There are numerous beliefs blocking a leader from developing and learning. A good leadership development plan starts by enlisting these positive leadership development beliefs.

I’ve seen numerous change efforts fail due to not checking what one leader believes about one’s change and transformation.

Great, useful beliefs are drivers for change actions and transformation efforts. So, let’s decipher them.

I don’t hold the absolute truth about me, I need feedback.

You only hold your perspective about you. Feedback from others is crucial. If people hold the absolute truth about themselves,  how come they do not change when they want? Because they have blind spots. And these blind spots are our comfort zone.

I will still be ‘me’ after the change

You will not change in the sense of inauthenticity. You will just embrace and transcend who you are now. People do not change like spare parts (by replacement); people transform, they become more.

I need allies for my change to happen

You can not beat the odds of change resistance only by yourself. Any ally is great. Any one you ask to hold you by your hand when you cross the harsh period of transformation is good. You need allies of the best quality: your dearest ones, the ones loving you unconditionally but firmly enough to challenge you.

It’s not always true that my efforts to change are going to be rewarded

Life is not fair. Look around. You worked hard and if you are not the first to celebrate, others will not do it. Wait no more for recognition of your changes. Do transform for your own sake.

The change will trigger new necessary changes

Fact is change and transformation never ceases. Life and business are volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous (VUCA). There are no borders or stop signs on your transformation path. Daily encounters change you bit by bit each day, in an unconscious way. What you can expect is only you can be more structured, aware and purposeful in your transformation.

My change might not be permanent

A leadership development plan or program is not a pause in time, put in brackets; it should be viewed as a natural continuation of your current way of leading to a future one, expanding the first. A proper mindset is to view such a plan as a more organic change, a change in your leadership ‘lifestyle’. Get fit or stay fit forever?

There’s hard work in change

I saw people change in an instant and I saw leaders not change too much after 8 months of hard work. There’s too much complexity in a transformation to be able to put it in an absolute formula. What remains is simple: work hard to have chances to an instant change. Our ‘leadershiplans’ are meant to put you to work through daily practices and routines of transformation.

I will be distracted on my path to change

Yes, you will. You are not going to be in a bubble, away from any disturbances. You can not hope for better. Take it as it is. All the retreats and 2 weeks offsite leadership courses supposedly are meant to create this ‘growth and deep learning space’ but they are useless if not followed by daily routines and on the job practice.

Time for change has already passed

If there’s no urgency in you to transform, refrain from starting a leadership development plan. Truth is time for change is now. There’s no proper time. A leadership development program is not ‘semester 1, high school’; it is not ‘school time’, is ‘learning time’. And we learn daily.

I will be tired and my drive will dilute

Certainly. You just have to pay attention to your biorhythm, organize special hours for learning immersion and intense practice. In his bestseller ‘The Talent Code: Unlocking the Secret of Skill in Maths, Art, Music, Sport, and Just about Everything Else’, Daniel Coyle has several tips on how to learn deeply. One is about intensity (instead of the more popular regularity). Catch the momentum and learn.

I need help and structure for the change to happen

Yes. That is our mission at Leadershiplan. People rarely change in the desired direction by their own willpower, ambition and without planning.

I need higher stakes and references

Many times we set lower stakes as reference: ‘At least I’m better than X’. The proper mindset here is ‘I am better than myself yesterday’ or ‘I want to reach the level of X’. Higher stakes, humility, and drive: these are key.

Change has to happen now

1st of January. All good. 2nd of January – still good. 3rd of January – ‘maybe I can skip today’s [change action], it’s a ‘special’ day’. You know what I mean. Change has to burn you each day. Your ‘mindset dictionary’ should not contain words like ‘exception’, ‘delay’, ‘postpone’ or ‘special day’. A ‘special day’ is the day transformation dies. 

I don’t have enough willpower

You do not and you are no exception. Everyone has a limited spring of willpower and no one can control its flow. The key in transformation is not the willpower, but patience, perseverence and a great deal of urgency.

I have to change, not to understand the change first

If you need to understand change, you are me. I have to understand it because this is my job and my passion: to understand how people change and then help you do it. The need for understanding is usually a need for control of the process, a fear of letting go and a procrastination.

The simplest definition of coaching

The simplest definition of coaching

My typical client is a human with a goal. Where does the goal rest? It rests in the human’s mind. Not at the office, not in the boardroom, not in his smartphone, not in his colleagues’ voices. A goal does not exist until it occupies a human’s mind. And then, problems begin. This is the simplest definition of coaching.

Why does this situation need coaching?

Because of one of the following possibilities:

  1. MISUSE OF OWN MIND: the human might consider his a goal of other(s);
  2. COMPASS: the human is unclear about the essence of the goal: is it a new way of being? a new way of doing? something to have? something relational? a combination of all these?
  3. SYSTEMIC VIEW: human’s goal might be linked to his other goals or other humans’ goals;
  4. SUBJECT-OBJECT: the human is subject of the goal instead of objectifying it; being subject gives him drive and passion, objectifying it gives the human clarity.
  5. LEVEL OF UNDERSTANDING: the human is too small for the goal; his consciousness needs to “grow up”;
  6. VALUES: the human doesn’t know himself enough;
  7. LACK OF CLARITY: the human didn’t define the goal very well;
  8. CREATIVITY: the human has limited/ bad or no solutions to attain the goal.

My coaching ways

So, sometimes I have to coach the human, sometimes the goal and sometimes both.

Sometimes I have to use:

A. a transpersonal approach (co-discovering/ co-uncovering human’s values and beliefs and his life’s underlying purpose) – #5, #6

B. a systemic approach (how the human/ the goal/ both relates to the VUCA world around) – #1, #3

C. an NLP approach (long-term changes of mindsets – beliefs, heart sets – moods, states and body sets – language, posture, embodiment, to attain the goal) – #2, #7, #8, #4

D. a cross-training or martial arts approach (micro-practices to perpetuate new habits, to train new skills, to instill new attitudes) – #2

E. an integral approach (defining the existing/ desired level of consciousness of the human or/ and of the goal, working with all the types of inner intelligence of the human, checking on all the perspectives – inner universe, actions and behaviors, relationships, the larger society, environment and processes) – #2, #4

Metaphor

I am a sherpa accompanying an Everest climber during an expedition. He might need me when:

  • he sets an unclear destination;
  • he loses focus from his intention;
  • he starts the climb and needs to be in a certain mental/ emotional, physical, relational state;
  • he collaborates with other climbers and/ or sherpas;
  • he is preoccupied with other aspects in his life;
  • he gets lost in case of obstacles and can not detach from the goal in order to have a clearer view;
  • he has a goal (summit) bigger (higher) than his possibilities;
  • he does not know his possibilities;
  • he has limited/ none/ obsolete ways to reach to the summit.

The difference is that I coach before, during and after attaining the goal.

The 5 fears of any manager. Plus their coaching cures. (feat. Richard Barrett)

Why do we all have fears?

There are three main needs innate to humans: to survive, to bond, to mean something. See Richard Barrett’s works on human values. Here below you have his main theory in a nutshell.

valori umane

If the first need is to be cherished mainly during our first 2 life years, the next one is more present in our 2-8 years old period while the third is more acute after this age, until we are 20 or so.

When (and this happens for most of the people), during these periods in our lifetime, these three fundamental needs are not met, we will develop a sort of “need fulfillment hunting” for the rest of our lives; i.e. fears: fear of not having enough, fear of not being loved enough and fear of not representing anything in other’s view.

So, fears appear during the same ages, in relation to the three types of needs. Each fear (which is a certain kind of emotional thought like “I might not get …” will trigger certain actions and behaviors (most of them unconscious to us) which will generate certain responses/ consequences in the environment (still unconscious to us).

The 5 typical Managerial Fears

The typical manager carries with him 5 typical fears since his first day of management: of being considered an imposter, a fool, an underachiever, vulnerable and of being attacked by his peers. How does he cope with them?

The cure: coaching for awareness and courage

My offer is that through coaching anyone may become more conscious and courageous about one’s fears and find ways to cope with them, aiming at better consequences.

Let’s briefly explore each of them and their managerial variants and see how can we overcome them.

     1. The managerial fear of being considered incompetent (the imposter syndrome) – related to the fear of not meaning anything (self-esteem level, see above).

  • Behavior: plays political dances: avoiding technical debates, delegates them to the more “technical” subordinates, dedicates time to social influencing and making allies.
  • Systemic consequences: general procrastination of real-life decisions, political decisions but vague form the technical point of view.
  • Possible origin: parents/ educators disregarded the child’s natural abilities and results.
  • Cure: coaching on certain excellent performances, outstanding results and existing abilities.

    2. The managerial fear of underachieving (the perfectionist syndrome) – related to the fear of not meaning anything (self-esteem level, see above).

  • Behavior: works late, involves in many projects, burnout, general busyness, confusion, lack of direction
  • Systemic consequences: sudden decisions and acts of “rebellion”, an appetite for risks, incoherent decisions
  • Possible origin: parents/ educators stressed certain abilities of the child, demanded extraordinary performances
  • Cure: coaching on the natural balance and bio-rhythm, on letting go, relaxation

    3. The managerial fear of being vulnerable (the victim syndrome) – related to the fear of not being loved (relational level, see above).

  • Behavior: cockiness, ego-shielding, gratuitous toughness, dishonesty, jealousy.
  • Systemic consequences: imprints the same artificial behavior one level down, creates a dishonest culture.
  • Possible origin: parents/ educators disregarded child’s emotions, stressed on thinking and cerebral activities
  • Cure: coaching on empathy, emotions, fears, integrity.

    4. The managerial fear of being considered a fool (the clown syndrome) – related to the fear of not mean anything (self-esteem level, see above).

  • Behavior: does not speak up, reluctant to issuing opinions, delays any decision, prolonged meetings to “be covered”.
  • Systemic consequences: delays, lack of efficiency, hesitations
  • Possible origin: parents/ educators disregarded the child’s opinions and creative ideas.
  • Cure: pure listening through coaching.

    5. The managerial fear of being attacked by his peers (the paranoid syndrome) – related to the fear of losing job security or authority  (survival level, see above).

  • Behavior: silo mentality, exaggerate control, micro-management, “we vs. them”
  • Systemic consequences: poor decision making, the division of corporate culture, internal wars, procrastination of cross-divisional projects, opposition from existing subordinates
  • Cure: coaching for awareness on existing benefits and authority, courage to let go.

Coaching as Re-parenting

From this article’s point of view, coaching may be seen as re-parenting or at close range to psychotherapy; it is true. Many of our “interferences” (as in performance = potential – interferences) come from historical unmet needs (unmet by parents of educators).

When following performance, some old memories brightening is often needed sometimes.

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George Bragadireanu

George Bragadireanu

Coach

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