With companies now offering the option of working from home permanently, or combining going back to the office, with working from home, it is now a time 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 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, but more importantly, from the standpoint of how we can 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 allows people to lead with creativity takes intention and courage. 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 oneself 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 our own responsibility to develop the curiosity and discipline to do this. This is about self-discipline, accountability, having a sense of purpose, and the drive to learn and grow. Our leaders must be a models 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, we must be deeply connected to a purpose in a way that goes beyond personal benefit. In order for this be done consciously and effectively, we need to know the WHY of what we are doing (our purpose), and align that with HOW we do doing our work (our values). Having both worked in, and led remote teams over the past 10 years, I have learned that it is critical to be more intentional about how we engage, communicate, and prioritize and these values so that they can be lived in every interaction, meeting, and communication. It is also critical to know why we get up everyday, both individually and collectively. This is what keeps us going and the clarity on values, and the purpose to create positive, impactful actions. Now more than ever, we need to be more responsible and aware of our actions, why we do what we do, and how we do our work, take care of ourselves, and engage with each other. Creating rituals and structure around how we live our 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 this past year, I have seen recurring themes: how to shift the lens to focus on RESULTS and IMPACT, versus activity and time. It may take some time to adjust how we measure performance, especially if we are not able to see day-to-day activity. As a leader and as an employe it is important to build confidence, trust and accountability with each other in order for impact to manifest. Allowing for people to be flexible 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. Expectations must also be established, outlined, and respected for when people are offline. As a leader, modeling this is critical so that their people shift a to a new paradigm and move from feeling under a microscope for activity, but to be self-driven for impact.
Employees must also learn to develop self-awareness, be an advocate for themselves, and create visibility to showcase their own work and impact, as well as the work of others. Because we are not together in one office, we need to support each other, rather than being isolated. Creating time and space for effectively giving and receiving feedback to each other, building relationships through taking the 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. 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.