Conscious Agreements and Commitments within Organization
“Commitment is what transforms a promise into reality.”
– Abraham Lincoln
What are you REALLY committed to?
A clue to answering this question can come from seeing what you are experiencing in life. A wise man once said “If you want to know what you are committed to, look at what you’ve got.”
Are you more committed to being right than having fulfilling relationships? Are you more committed to looking good than trying things on and being willing to fail? Are you more committed to being in control than having an empowered and inspired team?
Of course, we proclaim that we are committed to all the “good stuff.” But do our actions and results validate and support that claim?
As leaders, it’s always a good idea to review and revisit our commitments. Even a better idea to look under the covers of what we say on the surface.
In revisiting your commitments, here is a great one to consider. Are you committed to creating and leading a conscious organization? And, are you willing to have your actions support this commitment, even if it gets uncomfortable, outside your comfort zone, and unpredictable?
I recently discussed this particular subject with Sharon Rich of ThinkBusinessGrowth. I’ll share with you a few highlights from our conversation.
One way to significantly impact your organization’s leadership consciousness is to become genuinely and wondrously curious about each leader’s vision for the future, their authenticity as a leader, their role (vs. title or position) in the organization, and their relationship with the leadership team as a whole and the people they are leading.
A disconnect between what the leader says they are committed to and the level of consciousness actually expressed in the organization is common. Good intentions, talent, and hard work abound, but leaders have limited awareness of their impact on others and exactly how to inspire conscious collaboration between individuals to produce results.
Expanding individual consciousness takes intention, effort, and work. Yet, it’s worth it. As leaders expand their awareness and consciousness, it becomes game-changing for them personally…which translates into the impact they have on their teams and the entire organization.
Once the organization makes a commitment to up-leveling consciousness, appropriate challenges arise. Organizational Development leaders often report these types of challenges.
One organization reports working through agreements between the BOD and leadership team, including strategy and alignment around translating the vision into corporate goals. Everyone understands the vision; the question to be answered is, how that vision translates into reality. Yet, this is a higher-level problem coming about only within a consciousness-focused organization.
Being at the gateway of transformation means stepping outside of what we already know, being uncomfortable, not knowing all the answers in advance, and doing things differently than we did before. Who are we as an organization? The space to answer this question begins to open up vs some pre-fab or past-based easy answer. Now, the organization gets to write their own story in the present. What is it going to be?
You may know of a monumental bestseller “The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom” by Don Miguel Ruiz.
In a similar vein, Sharon Rich is bringing out her own book “Your Hidden Game – Eight Invisible Agreements that Control Your Business” (available this Fall). Sharon identifies the eight most important agreements that people in organizations make with each other unconsciously: without any awareness that we’ve made them. Lacking awareness, these agreements unconsciously run our business.
Once we as leaders become aware and start making intentional agreements, our work, our results, and the difference we are making transforms.
Here, Sharon shares three of the eight agreements.
- Desired Outcome – Often people do not have a shared agreement of what they are wanting to achieve, both as a team and an organization. If they are not aligned about how they will pursue it and what success looks like, it is impossible to produce a clear and aligned outcome.
- Roles – Who does what, what is each person’s role, and how does it interact with others? We make assumptions, but usually don’t expressly discuss those assumptions. Then, we have breakdowns and upsets about it. We spend time talking about the upsets, but not about the assumed roles and agreements at their core.
- Decisions – How the organization makes decisions. For example, unilaterally, “my home, my rules”, “do now, ask for forgiveness later”, by consensus so things move very slowly, etc. Everyone has a tacit agreement that this is how we do it…without expressed and aligned agreements about such decision-making processes.
It is time for us as committed and conscious leaders to start letting go of old ways and unconscious agreements. Let’s begin to make intentional agreements about how we work together at each, every and any level.
What agreements and commitments will empower your leadership right now?