We have been invited with our partners of StratX, to run an ambitious development program for the top 500 of a large multinational. StratX are specialized in developing Strategic Marketing skills by their clients. One of their simulations is used by 90 of the top 100 MBA’s in the world. When we join them in a program, we observe the impact of behaviours on the quality of the strategic decisions made by the participants and their team in the simulation and provide them with feedback. The StratX team runs the simulation and teaches Marketing and Strategy.
The CEO had asked us to check something out: Since 100 teams of 5 people would go through the development program, he wanted to run an experiment: “Let half of the teams get on with their work and do not interfere. With the 50 others, invest 30’ of their time, during the first decision round, to invite them to present themselves in an intimacy conducive way”.
At the end of the program, the results were interesting: out of the 50 teams that had invested 30’ (on a whole week program) on building an emotional connection amongst their members at the start, 48 ended up at the top of the list… Ensuring that people provide to others the keys to understand them is important in speeding up the formation of an efficient, diverse and performing team.
So when my team and I decided, a few weeks ago, to rewrite our bios, Michael Newman challenged us in providing something that would better explain who we are and which events of our lives made us the people we had become. I was impressed to read his one page document. I thought I knew Michael and discovered in fact things that helped me better understand who he is, why he acts/reacts the way he does and what matters to him.
Deeply challenged and moved by his description, I started to work on mine… How to write a one pager which explains who I am, what made me the person I am and what really matters to me, my Deep Intent? From it emerged a very enriching exercise which I invite you to run for yourself and maybe with your team:
- Step I introduce clearly the purpose: It is about obtaining clarity of what drives us, of what profoundly marked us in life and made us who we are. Remember last week’s blog post, drawing a parallel between Gary Hamel organizational coaching and our practice of executive coaching: “Develop a deeper sense of self, one that frees a company to do something that it would not have conceived of doing before”. It is only by being clear about our deeper self that we will liberate, fearlessly, our creative energies.
- Step II draw your “lifeline”: It is a simple exercise I once was asked to do in a sort of NLP training. Time is on the horizontal axis and emotional impact (positive or negative) is on the vertical. Draw the line of emotions as you replay the movie of your own life… Here is, as an example, the one I drew on the spot when doing the exercise. Of course it is far from complete, of course many important moments have been forgotten at the moment I was drawing this. Of course I shouldn’t be showing this publicly… Its only purpose is to be illustrative.
- Step III analyze your lifeline and see how much it may explain from you. Write something that helps others to have access to you.
Here is my new bio. I believe it is more helpful in describing to you who I am, than what I had produced before. I’d be curious to know from those of you who never met me and kindly follow this blog, if that helps them construct a clearer and more helpful picture of me.
In order to move people from intention to action, leaders need to work at the rational/Logos level and at the emotional/Pathos one as well. Preparing yourself through such an exercise will help you connect and engage with your team, at the much needed emotional level.