In Good Company
Many of you who are parents will know the impact on our children of having good friends. Friends with shared values and a similar upbringing, can help nurture these values and provide reassurance that our children will not be introduced to things that go against these values. As adults, we don’t always take the same steps to watch out for this. Emotions are contagious and I’m sure we’ve all experienced something I have, which is getting emotional about something that initially wasn’t a big issue. An issue had occurred and whilst it wasn’t great situation, I hadn’t reacted to it, but then someone else expressed their frustration and before long, I too was reacting in the same way, and ending up acting upon this emotion.
Leaders in organisations carry a huge amount of responsibility and weight on their shoulders. On one hand, they need to role model good citizen behaviour, aligned to the organisation’s values. They need to provide clarity to their teams whilst having to balance their own need for clarity, working with huge amounts of ambiguity. They have to drive change, which may be great in the long term for the organisation, but leads to huge amounts of uncertainty for themselves, as well as colleagues around them. They have to manage and lead their teams, whilst doing their own roles. And all the while, they need to control their emotions, read the emotions of their teams and respond accordingly to ensure everyone has a great experience at work, bringing the best of themselves therefore improving organisational performance.
Before you start reflecting on whether you really want to continue to do your leadership role having read the above, consider the impact of the company you keep. There will be people that rile you up, get you emotional and lead to the impact of you reacting emotionally. There are others that will have the opposite impact. As leaders, the pool of people around you within your peer group may not allow for huge choices of the people you end up spending time with. Think about the emotional impact they have on you. Emotions are contagious, both those that lead to negative reactions, and also those that inspire us to do something different. When a group of passionate people get together to solve problems, imagine what they could come up with. Do the leaders with whom you spend time with enhance the organisation’s values? Do they role model good citizen behaviours? Do you? The company you keep and the company you become, is the culture you make. So are you in good company?
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