A corporation will be a mirror image of the leadership, the leadership persona and the leadership’s consistency with passion for a new and improved world! This passion and clarity stems from a voice within, knowing that which is important, demonstrating utter resolution to it whilst identifying real opportunity for change and realignment from it.
One man who has spent a lifetime researching emotions specifically in corporations is Martyn Newman, psychologist and co-creator of the ‘Emotional Capitalist Report’ for RocheMartin, and fellow Leadership Challenge advocate. He describes leaders as someone who needs to author their own story, become the chief storytelling officer, one who can describe a dream and destiny that excites and ignites people. So where can stories help the soul of an organization?
When team members are active business partners, they will seek to understand before being understood. Everyone loves a good story as we connect and become a character, alive and dynamic. It will take us to the soul, the very core of an issue and allow us to feel the pain, emotion, and may well leave us with ‘fire in the belly’ that can move mountains in business. Lights switch on as we move from a lack of understanding to clarity and reason. In the words of Kouzes and Posner, that very fire has the ability to transform values into action, vision into reality, separateness into solidarity, obstacles into opportunity and risk into reward. What else can a corporate soul need?
When team members are active business partners, they have great opportunity to see things through the eyes of others. Customers, suppliers, shareholders, staff are all in a state of experience, and when felt valued will openly share. Metaphors emerge and evolve into perspective, provoking the realm of alternative, removing us from the world of absolute. Open minds in business strike up connection. With connection we move to the very soul, to that pit in the stomach, to the core of energy where, as ’embers of the world’ purports, change from the core occurs.
There will always be someone in a business who is in a position to take the people, department, functionality and organization beyond current performance. Title give way to the power of learning from exploring new ways. A story with tangible and visual representation can excite and delight, as the person connects with the image in the mind’s eye of what the new state will look like. ‘What was or is’ simply fades into oblivion, recognizing its day has come and happily steps out of the way of a powerful ‘what can be’ already being developed as a result of the story!
….and even goodbyes?
GroupOn’s departing CEO told a story in his resignation letter, one of raw and precious vulnerability, truth to the core, alignment with self-validation, encouragement from the heart whilst also opening hope for the future – what more would a corporate soul want?
Debbie Nicol, Managing Director of Dubai-based ‘business en motion’, and creator and author of the ‘embers of the world’ series, is passionate about change. She works with both traditional and contemporary toolkits that move businesses and executive leaders ahead, whilst working on leader and organizational development, strategic change and corporate cultures.