Leaders operate in a culture where conflict and advocacy are daily functions. Sometimes the solution is to eliminate the conflict rather than resolve it, and for neither side of the advocacy issue to win. But to choose these options, a leader needs a broader understanding of the issues and the conflict-resolution process. This means expanding the leader’s perspective of the bigger picture.
But what is this bigger picture? How do we find a lens through which to see it more clearly? Total framework leadership offers you a perspective on people and organizations, providing a more complete lens for viewing. The “box” limits our perspective. Making your box a little more transparent helps bring the total framework into perspective.
First, it helps to know some ways you can get boxed in. Leaders, because of their highly specialized knowledge and experience, can be pigeonholed into the box by the organizational culture.
Two significant layers create the box. The first layer is created by the narrow focus of the education process. Whatever your academic major and experience, you tend to have a viewpoint or a lens through which you see people and organizations.
For example, if you are legally trained, you tend to see through a process lens. Technically trained people tend to see through the lens of tasks and projects, problems and solutions. Business people tend to reduce the lens to the profit perspective. While all these are important, none represents a whole or accurate picture.
The second and most confining layer is defined by the world of work itself. Doing the work, or “getting it done,” and addressing the situations at hand are still top priorities.
So how can we begin to see through the box’s layers? Apply your problem-solving skills and talents more broadly. This can help clarify the view. The question is, “Can educated, experienced people broaden their skills and expand the range of problems they seek to solve and, in the process, become better leaders?” The answer is a resounding yes!
Applying your knowledge, experience and skills to address this conundrum first requires that you gain an expanded viewpoint of the person and the group. The first step in total framework leadership is learning to view the person and the group from new perspectives, including surface and depth, inner and outer, and body and inner being.
This means that leadership decisions must consider individual and group motivations, individual and group satisfaction with outcomes, as well as resulting individual and group education and experience. These considerations involve more than productivity, abstract dollar numbers and the catch-all subjective inner measure of employee morale.
For example, “We’re cutting expenses” is either a slogan or a set of decisions with thoroughly assessed effects that educate every employee in the benefits of a leaner, more efficient operation. To do this takes personal development, study and growth — things that cannot be delegated.
Are you reading two books a month on your chosen field, at least one of which has to do with human behavior? Do you understand the creative problem-solving process and how you can refine your use of it? This knowledge is available and you can acquire it. Inquire. You’ll be amazed at what you find. It is only through transforming yourself that your world is changed and the impact of total framework leadership is realized.
About the author: Samuel G. Bonasso is a strategic business consultant. He can be reached at [email protected].