I attended a development workshop last week – a Leadership development workshop – to be precise. I arrived Tuesday morning with some trepidation. I left Tuesday evening empowered and with great enthusiasm. Moreover, I learned a great deal – about myself (scary) – and much about my colleagues (handy).
It’s a strange but common phenomenon for me…this apparent lack of enthusiasm about these events before I arrive followed by excitement and engagement when I leave. In many ways the surprising thing is that I haven’t worked it out yet. I’ll just have to add it onto the (long) list of things that I do that I don’t understand…
What I have realised, though – and this is either reassuring or worrying – is that I am not alone. It seems that most of us sign up for any personal development, team building or project advancement workshop under some level of duress. Do I have to? How long for? Many of us have been there and said these things. And so I assume many of us have also left such sessions feeling similarly positive.
Strangely enough, whenever I suggest such opportunities to my team then I am very positive, even if the project involves me as well, yet when it is suggested to me by someone else I tend to be less enthusiastic…even if it’s my boss making the suggestion. Perhaps its as simple as us all feeling more in control if we initiate change ourselves and consequently feel less comfortable when that control is taken away us and change is initiated by someone else…no matter how positive their intent may be.
Our workshop this week was focussed on personal accountability. It was professionally and expertly facilitated (not by me)…and I have found myself thinking a great deal about the details and examples… concepts and frameworks we discussed.
Top of my list was the so called Results Pyramid. Simple, visual and applicable. Every result achieved is driven by an action taken. Beliefs we hold are guide our actions. Our experiences create our beliefs. Intuitively and immediately this idea resonated with me and made sense to me. Most great ideas are obvious when you hear them….perhaps that’s what makes them great?
Almost by definition, I have a unique set of experiences. They differ from anyone else. Moreover, my experiences are inherently based on a long time working for one company in one sector of our industry. And now I am working for a different company in a very different sector. My experiences are different and therefore my beliefs are different. Different from many of the people I work with…and for.
And to some extent this is by design and by default. By default – moving from one company to another means that my experiences will differ. By design – I chose to move sector and I was selected for my role because my experiences were different. Intriguing.
As a leaders, it is too often too easy to focus on actions – individual or collective, Business Units or teams – as we seek to achieve whatever results we are after. Actions are always important of course; but I recognised on Tuesday that I need to spend as much time – if not more – considering the beliefs we all have about our roles, our company, our partners. And thinking about the experiences that have created those beliefs.
This engaged me. And it excited me. We all want to develop, enjoy, deliver. We are frequently asked to achieve more, sooner, better. We all have our experiences and we bring our beliefs with us every day. I left engaged. And empowered.
Change comes from within…