The Conditioning You are Dealing with, Choose Wisely.
Your Board is made up of a dozen or so individuals who have all been conditioned to think, behave, and value certain things in life. Your executive leadership is no different. The management and employees of your company have been conditioned as well, as individuals and, more importantly, as a group over the course of many years, former leaders, and previous strategies / objectives / incentives. Now, think of this conditioning as a system in your environment. You can’t really see it, you experience it.
Are these conditions (ways of thinking, behaving and valuing) enabling or inhibiting the achievement of your goals? What if you could influence them so they were enthusiastically enabling you and your team? What would be possible if that happened?
The hard truth is that your situation is most likely sub-optimized, meaning, these ways of thinking, acting, and valuing are not aligned. They are commingling in an intoxicating and invisible way to make it harder for you to be successful. This sub-optimization is not necessarily intentional. It is unconsciously created because no one in your environment is looking at these conditions at the individual or system level and doing something to remediate them. Further, people are most frequently conditioned to optimize for their own individual gain which automatically sub-optimizes the system.
So, you are stuck dealing with these individual and system conditions. They will continue to impact you until they don’t impact you by one of three options:
- You remove yourself
- Someone else removes you
- The environment changes the conditioning
Options 1 & 2 are self-explanatory. Let’s talk about option 3 and your choices therein.
You are a part of the environment and you likely underestimate your impact on it. You have personal choices you can make to influence the environment and affect the individuals and the system conditioning. The best leaders understand this personal choice and how they affect their environment. Do you accept your current environment or do you want, dare I suggest need, to be a better leader in your environment? If you want, or dare to impact your environment, just make the choice. The minute you make your choice, you influence the system of conditions at play, and you either improve the system to operate more effectively or you degrade the system. This happens with EVERY CHOICE you make. Your growth as a leader starts within you, and is demonstrated by your making new decisions.
Now, these new decisions are likely not a part of your current individual conditioning. If they were they wouldn’t be new! These new decisions exist outside your current comfort zone. Your comfort zone is a metaphor for your current conditioning. To modify your current conditioning you must get outside your comfort zone.
Therefore, to impact the system level conditioning, you start with your own conditioning. What have you been conditioned to value, do and think is important? How could you modify what you value, what you do, and how you think such that you generate a new system condition that generates success for you and for others?
Take the time to choose wisely, outside your comfort zone.