“As you announce peace with your mouth, make sure that greater peace is in your hearts. Let no one be provoked to anger or scandal through you, but may everyone be drawn to peace, kindness, and harmony through your gentleness. For we have been called to this: to heal the wounded, bind up the broken, and recall the erring.” St. Francis of Assisi
If you are a C-Suite Leader in Healthcare, this blog will challenge your thinking and belief systems—if you are courageous enough to be curious. If you are wedded to the status quo and believe your perception of reality is the truth, read no further. If we want to stem “the great resignation”, we must start with ourselves. Leadership is an inside-out job!
At SixSEED Partners, we have the privilege of partnering with senior-level leaders on their development. Our mission is to provide integrated solutions to heal healthcare. In recent posts, we’ve applauded the work of the leaders at www.innerdevelopmentgoals.org: transformational skills for sustainable development. With scientific advisors like @jennifergarveyberger, @ottoscharmer, @petersenge, @robertkegan, @dansiegel, and @amyedmondson, this enlightened coalition knows that if we want sustainable change in our world, we must focus on changing ourselves. You can read more about their work in our prior posts.
What does this have to do with a challenge of our time: “The Great Resignation?” My motivation to write comes after hearing and witnessing repeated stories of senior-level, Vice-President or C-Suite leaders who have been asked to leave their positions and have been dealt with as if they were criminals. Some have been notified virtually and then asked to clean out their offices that they can only access with an escort and supervisor. Many have been informed that they cannot say good-bye to people they have hired and worked with for decades. Those at the organizations have been told that they cannot reach out to these leaders with whom they’ve done what many would consider combat duty.
What assumptions drive behaviors such as these? Perhaps: “we need to safeguard the organization from bad press;” “the individual will respond in anger and want to retaliate against us;” “since our perceptions of performance differ, we can’t trust this person and must act with control-power over.”
Here’s the challenging thinking part: I ask you: How do these very beliefs contribute to the manifestation of your own fear? In your efforts to protect, what cultural messages are being conveyed to your leadership team and the rest of the organization? It would seem this message is loud and clear: “If this is how our senior leaders are treated, then we are not safe and it’s each person for themselves!” No wonder people are resigning!
How might we lead differently so that we create the cultures we desire? The Inner Development Goals (IDG) suggest we cultivate the competency of Presence as part of Being: Relationship to Self:
“Ability to be in the here and now, without judgment and in a state of open-ended presence.”
Might we lead with safety for the organization AND safety for the individual? What would that look like? Perhaps we might see these behaviors:
- Validated behavioral assessments administered in the selection and hiring process that continues upon hire as part of a proactive development strategy
- Ongoing dialogue and mutual assessment around capacity and performance so there are no surprises
- Courageous conversations that are grounded in relevant and timely situations to assess and challenge thinking and the ability to adapt and grow
- Belief in the human being’s desire to serve and exploration around best fit—for them and the organization
- If parting is necessary, a co-created exit plan that provides safety for the organization while respecting this person who has sacrificed much of their life in service to their job
- A way to honor how they want to say good-bye to those with whom they’ve served
Behaviors like these require a different way of thinking. They require presence. If you’d like support for you and your leaders in how to sustainably shift individual and organizational mindsets so that you can be a place that attracts the type of leaders you most need, contact us.
That is our work—at SixSEED Partners and for our time.