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Each of Us Possesses a Foundation of Greatness

Each of Us Possesses a Foundation of Greatness
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The shift from me to team begins with the leader’s understanding of and responsibility for unleashing the dormant greatness that resides naturally in each team member. Concurrently, the leader unleashes their own personal best self as they shift from a me focus to a team focus. This shift opens the door to tapping into the natural human motivation to create sustainable greatness.

In her book Conversational Intelligence, Judith Glaser shares that all mammals possess a primitive brain that is emotionally reactive and fear-avoidant. It is there to protect us, and this is where we go when stressed. We fight, flee, or freeze when fearful or in an unfamiliar place. Each of us is insecure and reverts to the primitive brain at times. We resist change, are skeptical, and retreat inside ourselves for solo decision-making. When threatened, we secrete the stress hormone cortisol, which prepares us to fight tigers but is not healthy for long periods.

A positive transformation starts with trusting that, together, we can create a better tomorrow. It is about co-creation and partnering together for a better outcome. In this state, we are secreting oxytocin, a feel-good hormone that is good for us. For example, speaking in front of others can be stressful the first few times, but repeated experiences of speaking publicly permit the executive brain to teach the primitive brain that there is much less to fear than initially felt.

As we seek to help others by asking their thoughts on the best solutions, our collective best self surfaces, with each of us utilizing our executive brains. As we learn to be more vulnerable, trusting in the inherent desire of all to make a positive contribution, we become more of the person and the leader we are meant to be. We naturally gain new confidence in ourselves by partnering with and being open to what others see. We become much more effective as leaders and doers, and life begins to flow more effortlessly.

We have learned that most team members want to be their best, and they are working towards it. But they are in an environment that has not permitted their natural greatness to be unleashed.

We were doing cultural transformation work with a client, and the CEO resigned early in the engagement. The CEO had been authoritarian, demanding everyone do as he ordered. As a result, no team member was thriving, and the company needed help. The board of directors chose to replace the CEO with the VP of sales, who transferred from another state to take on the job. Not familiar with the daily operations of this manufacturing facility, the new CEO opened their first meeting by asking, “What do we do now?” The response was an astonished, “You care about what we have to say?”

For the first time, department leaders felt valued—they could contribute their thoughts on what needed to be done to help the company thrive. This attitude that all can contribute for mutual benefit permeated the organization over time such that each machine operator felt valued for their contribution. This organization continues to thrive today and is a stable entity for its community.

There is an untapped well of energy in each of us that will help our family, our organization, and our community thrive if it is unleashed. Great leaders seek ways to tap into that well of energy for the betterment of the organization.

#leadership #team #PeakPerformance #CoreIdentity #teamdevelopment #ShiftFromMeToTeam