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Aligned and Sabotaging: 2

Aligned and Sabotaging: 2

Aug 2018

‘This is a waste of time! We sit around and talk, but nothing ever changes.’ Loudly declared a disgruntled middle-aged man at one of my recent workshops. He had witnessed groups within the organisation desperate for quick ‘wins’ busy rallying support and orchestrating sweeping changes over and over again. Yet, he still sits in the room full of passionate people aligned by purpose, but deeply divided and frustrated.

I look up and see in Federal politics, groups rallying support, orchestrating sweeping changes, creating roles for the new revolutionaries and ‘executing’ the old guard. Yet, I wonder if we have progressed anywhere.

I believe most people genuinely believe in the purpose and values of their organisation. They are aligned. But their drive and initiatives for quick ‘wins’ are sabotaging their long-term success.

In the book, ‘The Football Solution’ by George Megalogenis he interviewed Greg Tonner, CEO of the North Queensland Cowboys (Rugby League Club who play in the NRL) about this very problem. Tonner states ‘What people are moving towards are purposes greater than themselves that are authentic and provide leadership and respect for community. The successful sport clubs will be those that can align their leadership teams and can stay true to their values and be accountable for behaviour, not fall into the trap of winning at any cost.

But how? The answer lies in an ancient saying ‘Pride leads to destruction; humility leads to honour.’

One of the wonderful qualities of the Australian culture is the ability to sniff out ‘bull shit’. We intrinsically know when someone is ‘full of themselves’ and we don’t like it. But how do we embrace humility in our own lives, within our leadership teams and organisations?

When you are humble, you are free from pride and arrogance. Humility is being comfortable with who you are, but able to recognise when you need help and to value the contribution of others.

When humility is embraced, its wonderful power begins to work. Like the ripple effect of a stone landing in a pond. It spreads and leads to honour. A wonderful example of this is seen in the life of rugby league great – Johnathan Thurston. He has excelled and achieved the highest honours at every level within rugby league. But it is his humility that is legendary. He lives it, models it and his teams reflect it.

Embracing humility personally allows you to model it to those around you, particularly your leadership teams. As your leadership teams embrace it they begin to model it to their teams and the wider organisation. The power of humility continues to spread. Humility allows your team space to build a plan, to be consistent, to learn and improve as you go, to bring in new ideas, to build a sustainable winning culture that keeps focused on the long-term success.

When the best leader's work is done the people say, 'We did it ourselves.' Lao Tzu

I personally like to use Lao Tzu’s quote as a goal for my leadership. It helps me maintain focus on the bigger picture and lets the power of humility bring honour. Take a moment to ask yourself, is this what my team is saying? Or, are you still making a list of all your achievements to promote your position?

At Joseph Consulting we are passionate about empowering leaders. We would love to work with you and your team to explore how humility can be woven into the fabric of your current work processes and practices. Please call Joseph Consulting for a coffee and chat.


Jason Gallagher

Joseph Consulting


If you would like to read another blog related to this topic, we suggest the following;

Aligned and Sabotaging: 1

Can you ascribe humility to yourself?

NOW, let your wins flow from your value system

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