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Productive extension of the existing range of one's sensing, remembering, imagining, authenticating,
organizing, and expressing abilities can occur if one becomes consciously aware of the implicit beliefs and
intrinsic assumptions that have been limiting them. A coach familiar with the principles of Eye-Zen English
can help one do this. Experienced leadership coaches can suggest ways of processing data already known to
us so as to deepen our insights into the situations bothering, perplexing, or otherwise disturbing the
equanimity from which we know that our best choices and decisions are made. Such coaching empowers one
to enhance his or her natural pattern by adding (a) depth (capacity to gain insight for the development of
more thoroughly practical options), or (b) speed (capacity to realize more immediate tactical flexibility).
Expanding the range of our existing "Theory U" pattern adds to our natural learning and intuiting powers.
These powers can engender either vitality or morbidity in our communications with others. So ethically
minded leadership coaches help us become consciously aware of the limitations implicit in our natural pattern
in order to grow in the capacity to lead, either by initiative or by silence, in ways that are beneficial to all
involved. When we become aware of these limitations, we have gained the emotional freedom we need to
choose healthier and more generative ways to develop both ourselves and others. Moreover, we have learned,
consciously, to be aware of the warning signs that we or the people working for us are losing the inner
balance known as equanimity.
Out of balance, we become vulnerable to the productivity-sapping leadership disabilities of our time:
workaholism, which health professionals say now afflicts between 55 and 85% of post-industrial populations,
and narcissistic presumption of entitlement. But in the measure we are able to stay in balance, the prerequisite
for which is being able to distinguish accurately between unaware ignorance and aware equanimity, we are
able to help optimize the learning rates of others.
By discerning accurately where each person is on his or her pattern of cognitive performance, leaders can
calibrate calls for growth optimally:
|Services to Leaders
LCDC: Leadership Capacity Development & Coaching
Dishon Limited is a Toronto-based manufacturer of component parts for mission-critical equipment
such as undersea oil rigs, nuclear reactors, and spacecraft. Its customers include such global design
and manufacturing leaders as AECL, McDonald Dettwiler, GE, and Cameron Controls. Its productivity and
quality levels are, and must be, world competitive in its field. Says Ilan Dishy, second-generation
owner, and President:
“Continuously raising productivity while meeting escalating standards of quality assurance is
continuously demanding. To avoid becoming workaholic heroes requires uncommon increments in
leadership capacities to fuel steadily rising team productivity at all levels, and we must accomplish this
amongst skilled people who come from many different cultural backgrounds and technical disciplines.
Eight months ago we hired Authentix Coach Angus Cunningham. Attending weekly or bi-weekly
sessions with Angus, my senior people have maintained impressive growth in monthly shipment
volume and per-person productivity, and also gained insights into the meaning and practice of high-
performance teamwork. Our progress is an inspiration to me personally, and in particular has enabled
me to recognize more accurately the latent talent that, once evoked, enables each of us to enjoy
growing. We no longer have to keep twisting ourselves into conventional psychological prescriptions
for personal change. Our culture is transitioning organically to a more trustingly and prudently
constructive and empathic one and I believe the best is yet to come. Angus’ approach, in which vital
truth is simultaneously an enlightening beacon and a practical objective in all our conversations, is
helping the senior people to tap the capacities we have as leaders to evoke more of the potential for
present initiative and productivity in every Dishonian. Despite the difficult market conditions facing
Ontario manufacturers, our team is moving ahead to double our floor space this year” -- Feb 2008
"Having recently added staff to strengthen our AS9100 Quality Assurance program and purchasing
capability, Dishon now has a superb leadership team that I can trust to make excellent short-term
operating decisions in medium-term and long-term planning frameworks that I and our sales
leadership keep adjusting and articulating" -- December 2008
|The following schematic describes the “inward-outward” process by which we sense our
environments and bring ideas into reality:
|How can we grow our capacities to assess our environments accurately and generate practical
ideas for affecting them positively? This question is critical to answer in both strategy
development and the development of every organization's leadership team.
The ways we sense our environments and bring ideas into reality have distinctive patterns. Each
of us has a pattern from nature and our nurturing that is unique, and each of our patterns has
dimensions of depth and rhythm – from reactively shallow but faster to consciously deep but
slower. Yet one can, if s/he so needs or wants, grow one's pattern to develop a greater range of
trade-offs between speed and profundity of response than one received from nature and nurture.
Indeed, any achievement-oriented person will do this in the ordinary course of his or her income-
earning life -- through the "school of hard knocks". But that is a haphazard school at best: it takes
unmanageable amounts of time, and its graduates are not always functional in the service of
organizational aims and goals. So, can you, as leader of your organization, direct the learning of
your leadership team more consciously and efficiently to meet the needs of your organization?
|"Gone for ever -- at least in our eyes -- is the debilitating perspective that the trajectory of a
company depends on whether it is led by people ordained with rare and mysterious qualities
that cannot be learned by others." -- Jim Collins and Jerry Porras, authors of "Built to Last"
Coached in this way, we and our leadership team can operate closer and closer to our optimum levels of
performance in the team/association/community/constituency of which we are a member -- a state that
coaches call "team flow".
(c) 2007-2014 by Angus Cunningham. All rights reserved. Permission requests.