Living my Awesome, Creating Awesome Worplaces, Delivering Awesome Products
This ain’t a short, in and out post! It’s about finding and living from a deeper sense of purpose and finding and connecting with people who are also living from that space. It is about the change I want to see – one where people are inspired to take back their lives, to own them, grow them, live them and love them! Where people claim back their autonomy, accountability, leadership and awesome’ness.We all have all of that, we just have been taught that it belongs to a select lucky few. so we live trapped I smaller lives, never seeing the awesomeness within! I see that everytime I facilitate a Servant Leadership workshop and instead if being sad that this never gets to be expressed or grown, I am deciding to grow it!
The longer I live inside the servant leadership journey the more I realise that awesome delivery depends not on process or structure – these are important enablers but not the key! Awesome products depend on awesome people!
Want a more awesome product ?
Then bring out the awesomeness in as many people involved in the delivery as you can… and then grow that awesomeness! Now that is a company I would never leave! One where I got to live from my awesomeness and be proud of what I was delivering.
Could you imagine that ?
How much fun would that be ? Yet here I sit, here you sit, in a totally different culture waiting for someone with more courage, more authority, more influence to save us and change it all! Getting more frustrated…. looking for that perfect company not realising that it will only exist when we create it! When I create it! I am the culture! Culture is nothing more than how we show up! If we want to change it all we have to do is show up differently! The question is how ? How do it it safely, in a way that supports us and allows us to keep earning our salaries ?
How do you boil a frog ? Slowly! How do you change a culture, as slowly! Each step is small, so small it isn’t that noticeable and each step creates the foundation for another until what was impossible is one step away! It’s also incidentally how you break a world depth record, one dive deeper than the ext until the next dive is the deepest!
Cultures are deeply entrenched with established mechanisms and players to reinforce that culture. So what is it I am doing as a culture creator ? What if there was a way to be both distinctly our selves and deeply connected to others – not by fitting in but by being connected in a way that requires neither commonality (we’re all exactly the same) nor conformity ( we give up a part of ourselves to fit in)? This is one of the questions posed in an awesome book “The Power of Onlyness – Wild Ideas Mighty Enough to Dent the World” by Milford Merchant.
How would we do that ?
Merchant proposes that the uniting power is common purpose.
“When purpose is the glue, then the groups ‘us’ does not suppress individual ideas at the expense of greater unity.”
How do we change deeply entrenched cultures where a powerful few are deeply connected to keeping things they way they are ?
Do we tackle them head on… trying to survive flashes of red that vary with intensity (Laloux describes red cultures as command and control, autocratic…so typical big corporate) ?
Or do we really own the change and start to live it, quietly, without demanding or expecting others to change around us – just living our Truth! A bit like the French Resistance – we fit in but we aren’t enabling or sustaining the old culture.
Schwartz’ mutual learning model has a set of assumptions and values that feel like keys to creating this sort of invisible, inevitable culture change. When we live from compassion and gentleness for others, assuming that they are doing their best, knowing that for most fear and defensiveness are the norms and realising that leaders are just like us – with more to loose, then we can stop reacting and start to live the change!
When we start to re-humanise our work spaces, treating people with dignity and being genuinely curious about what is important for them and being genuinely interested in serving and uncovering awesomeness, especially when it is hidden inside a prickly, unilateral package, then we start to create the change!
What would happen if those of us who want to live from awesomeness connect and start to support each other in taking back our workplaces ? If we created Culture Trees and refused to live small ?
What could we create ?