One of my past roles as an employee in the corporate world was as Manager, Human Resources Policy for what was then the State Bank of NSW. That was in the late eighties, and way back then, one of the key issues facing corporate Australia, and the research at the time suggested strongly it was a world wide issue, was a lack of inspirational leadership throughout the small, medium and large business community.
When this week’s intentional affirmation arrived in my inbox on leadership, I reflected on my observations and experiences in consulting and working with a wide range of small, medium and large companies, and I’m not really convinced that after the thousands of hours of research, training, coaching and development in leadership over the past 3 decades that we’ve achieved much progress.
By the way, the intentional affirmation for this week that I’m focusing on is #22. When leadership is needed, I step up to the mark! This week I will intentionally take charge when others won’t.
Each week I’m reporting here on my personal experience in implementing my 52 Intentional Affirmations. These are designed to help us be more intentionally mindful of the impact our intentions have on living a happy, flourishing and prosperous life. (Click Here to start work on your own 52 Intentional Affirmations).
I do believe we’re much clearer on what intentional leadership is and what it can achieve when it’s practised, but I’m not convinced that in the reality of the competitive corporate world that it’s being practised all that much.
And if you’re a leader in your own organisation, of course, I’m not referring to you… it’s all the other leaders who aren’t really stepping up to the mark, but maybe keep reading anyway because I’ve got a checklist that will help you to take stock of your truth about you as an intentional leader.
And even if you’re not a leader, the checklist below is a pretty good one to assess how well your leaders in your organisation are working toward creating an optimal work environment for you.
When it comes to leadership, being clear on your intentions for each individual within your team has significant impact on your success as a leader.
Intentional leadership is where you are focusing your intentions on creating an environment where your people can work in a happy, flourishing and prosperous work environment, and that will help add to their capacity to live a happy, flourishing and prosperous personal life as well.
Of all the research I’ve seen around creating engaged employees and what intentional leaders can and do practice, the 2004 research conducted by Jane Henry PhD (detailed in Positive Psychology by Hefferon and Boniwell) is very prescriptive and provides us with the following practices of positive organisations that every leader needs to take stock of their own truth to the extent whether they are creating the type of environment where their people can flourish:
1. Job variety – people can try out job tasks other than their normal tasks
2. Intrinsic motivation – providing motivational systems other than ‘pay’ and ‘punishment’
3. Confidence – boosting people’s self-belief through encouragement
4. Creativity – encouraging creative thinking and trying things differently
5. Strengths work – focusing on employee strengths rather than trying to just fix weaknesses
6. Team building – finding ways to increase sense of team values and purpose
7. Flow – providing clear goals, feedback and appropriate challenges
8. Participatory working practices – flexibility of how, when and where people work
9. Open climate, empowerment and self-organization
So, there you have it, and of course, as soon as a finite list is provided, there’s always room for more to be added, and I accept that… but this research is a great place to start.
I’d value hearing your feedback if you’re a leader or if you’re not, on how well you believe your place of work is providing the type of environment where people can flourish, prosper and be happy.