With companies now offering the option of working from home permanently, alongside a hybrid scenario of going back to the office, it is now a time, and all of our responsibilities to create a new paradigm for how we WILL do our work. We have been in limbo. People are making life decisions to live in different locations that are not tied to being in a city, or close to their work. As a result, there are a variety of components that need to be addressed with consciousness and intention, not only structurally from a tax, and cost of living perspective that create equity, but more importantly, how we lead more consciously, and work more intentionally. These are actions that are going to determine balance, equity and synergy, and long-term behavioral change for the better.
The art of aligning a strategy that addresses the heart, purpose of individuals, and allowing for people to lead with creativity for inspired action, takes intention and courage as a leader, as well as for individuals, who make the collective. The space to develop self-awareness, learning, and growth, combined with a strategic structure to do our best work together is what is going to create balance, engagement, and synergy. Conscious leadership comes down to looking after the body, mind, and soul of self and others, and needs to be treated as top priorities, in alignment together.
We talk about developing the mindset of resilience and growth, and it is each of our own responsibilities to develop the curiosity and discipline to do this, and not to rely only on our leaders to do this for us. This is about self-discipline, accountability, having a sense of purpose, and drive to learn and grow. In addition, our leaders must be a model of consciousness and empower others to develop self-awareness by providing opportunities and support to help to develop a framework and discipline for a new way of being.
As conscious leaders, or leaders in life, we must be deeply connected to a purpose in a way that goes beyond personal benefit, and ourselves. In order for this be done consciously and effectively, we need develop know our WHY we are doing what we do (purpose), and align with HOW we do doing our work (our values). Having worked in, and lead remote teams over the past 10 years, I learned that it is critical to be more intentional about how we engage, communicate, and prioritize and these values to be lived in every interaction, meeting, and communication. It is also critical to know why we get up everyday, individually and collectively. This is what keeps us going and the clarity on values, and purpose manifest into positive, impactful actions. Now more than ever, we need to be more responsible and aware of our actions and why we do what we do, and how we do our work, take care of ourselves, as well as how we engage with each other. Creating rituals and structure around how we live out values and purpose daily, is essential for engagement, alignment, and impact.
Having talked to many leaders, clients, and friends recently and asking them what their challenges have been over the past 7 months and brainstorming ways that we can shift to a new way of working, and being in order to build synergistic, high performing teams, as we are distributed across different time zones and locations. The themes have been, whether for an employee, team, or leader to focus on shifting the lens to focus on RESULTS and IMPACT, versus activity and time. It’s not about “running lean” or “ragged”, or how much time you are working, or online that determine success, it is being empowered to work in a way that aligns within one’s biorhythm, personality, and circumstance, which creates equity and balance.
It may take some time to adjust how we measure performance, especially if we are not able to “see” activity day to day. As a leader, and employee it is important to build confidence, trust, and accountability with each other in order for the impact to manifest. Allowing for people to be flexible for when they do their best work is done effectively if there is a culture of follow-through, and ownership. Clear expectations must be co-created, communicated, and agreed upon around what success means, and then lived out, day to day.
Also, expectations established for when people are offline, focus time, and personal time, must be outlined, and respected. As a leader, modeling this is critical people to shift a to a new paradigm and move from feeling under a microscope for activity, but to empowering others to be self-driven for impact.
As an employee, it is a responsibility to develop self-awareness, be an advocate for self, and create visibility to showcase your work and impact, as well as the work of others. Because we are not together in one office, we need to support and elevate each other, versus being isolation. Being intentional to create time and space for effectively giving and receiving feedback to each other, building relationships through taking time to connect, and developing self-awareness is critical for our own success, and for happiness, growth, and contribution to building synergistic, high-performing teams.
This will take time, brainstorming, pivoting and adjusting. It is about how leaders make it equitable, flexible, and scalable for everyone, given each person has a different way of working, set of circumstances, values, and needs. Whether taking care of kids, elderly or parents, managing our well-being and mental health or being single, or a couple without dependencies, being an introvert, or extravert, or cultural differences, it is important to understand and allow for each person to do determine how and when they do their best work, making for a diverse and inclusive culture. As a leader, co-creating as a team, or organization a collective set of parameters can help in making space for equity and synergy.