The language we use in corporate life is often too impoverished for the purpose we expect it to fulfil. We cannot assume that technical language will engage, inspire and transform, yet I believe that too little consideration is given to more a ‘poetic’ lexicon that has more potential to reach into people’s hearts and minds. Yet ‘poetic’ language does not mean floweriness! I have been experimenting with film as a more ‘poetic’ transformational medium, and am convinced of its contribution to culture change, leadership development, and the enactment of strategy.
As her colleagues guarded turf in a complex discussion over resource allocation, the Chief Executive quietly left the stuffy room. Actually, ‘stuffy’ is an understatement – I was facilitating in a ‘greenhouse’ – a windowless, south-facing, glass-and-chrome building in which the air conditioning had failed on the hottest afternoon of the Summer. Patience was wearing thin and tempers were as high as the temperature. This meeting was pivotal – funding to secure the future of shared services in this region was being brokered between the CEOs of the different Public Sector agencies present.
Generative leadership seems so vital these days, yet there is also a collective mistrust of leaders. So what is it that we are looking for? What would make a difference?
If you wanted to teach leaders how to make better decisions, what subjects would you include on your curriculum of consciousness?
What moves you? What turns you on or off? How do you get your needs met? And how far will you go to get what you want?
I’ve come to the conclusion that leadership courses taught in the business world are largely ineffective. They might help people understand leadership as a concept; they might help people to take more effective action as a leader but they do not routinely help people be leaders.