Work and Love

31 min read

In a moment of personal insight during a coaching conversation, she saw that she and her team weren’t really saying what they meant, but rather were making general comments and complaints, addressed to no one in particular.  That was the culture and she was its author.  Having seen this, she began to speak to the members of her team directly and as individuals while in the group and requested that they do the same.  She specifically asked them to speak only for themselves, to say what they really meant and to say it directly to the person they felt needed to hear it.  It all soon began to clear up.  Following her lead, the senior team stopped hiding and started speaking honestly in the group.  They started taking responsibility for intractable issues that were keeping them from getting to the root of their company’s problems.

Their next conversations revealed how deep the disaffection went and just how uncommitted the team leaders had been.  From that place, the team ignited.  They co-invented a future everyone wanted and created heartfelt, mindset-busting sales and business goals.  They became much more emotionally connected and eager to enlist others across the company in achieving their goals and in profound truth-telling and listening.  Already high engagement scores increased even further, job applications increased dramatically and from that moment they all felt a firmer grip on the steering wheel of the future.

At home she had wanted the transformation as much as she wanted her next breath and from that experience brought the mindset change to work.  She came to know herself in a new way and the world around her changed.  Although there was never any overt conversation about love and work going hand in hand, that is what happened.  Starting with the leadership team, this transformation became a living possibility throughout the entire culture of the company.

Speaking and Listening Profoundly Across Boundaries of Power and Position

A famous IT company was losing money in its Enterprise Technology division.  No one really knew which products or services were selling or which were dead in the water; records were unreliable and no one knew what was so.  This was covered up in public with peanut butter “corporate speak” based in people’s fear of looking foolish.  As transformation often follows desperation, these people were the perfect clients.  The phenomenon of cooperation, of love and work being together, was never in anyone’s mind.  Leaders just wanted the pain to go away and to bring common sense to work.

In the face of a corporate culture that was divisive and segmented, each of the leadership teams in five countries feared they would lose jobs and some might even lose their manufacturing capacity entirely.  The team leaders were brought together for four days to try to work it out.

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