By Angel Carlton, Founder of Power Up People! Inc.
“The soul is placed in the body like a rough diamond, and must be polished, or the luster of it will never appear.” ~Daniel Defoe
The “soul” of any organization is the essence, or the flow of energy, of the collective individuals that embody the workplace. In today’s rapidly-evolving world, aligning the pillars of a company vision or mission statement may not be enough to sustain the destiny of the organization. Destiny goes far beyond what the eye could see or the mind can deliberate. Destiny is the hidden power, or fate of the company. So, have you ever stopped to ponder, what is the true destiny of your company? Most leaders would say the destiny of their company is based on sustaining or increasing a profit over an extended period of time. While this is vitally important for the success of any company, how does the company’s culture truly impact that profit and equally important, how does the destiny-driven leader cultivate the company’s soul?
The workplace is made up of emotional beings who are either in a “good place or a bad place”, depending on their circumstance. These temperamental moods determine whether the work environment is positive or negative. Then there are people who naturally thrive, some strive to thrive and others just dive when it comes to exploring their full potential. We cannot fault the “divers” for not being “thrivers”. We must simply understand they may not have ever been reminded of their own magnificence. Sadly, no one has held the mirror up to show them a reflection of their greatness. What I have come to realize is that many adults are emotionally wounded children who have never been fully healed. Whenever I am in the classroom facilitating a leadership program, I ask the question, “How many people have been told at some point in their life, ‘I believe in you’?” Disturbingly, it’s usually 20% (or less) that raise their hands and those folks recall exactly who said it and when. The other 80% are those that may need to be reminded of who they are, their personal capabilities and made to feel validated. Leaders, it is up to you to let them know you believe in them. Trust me, you will be remembered for it.
Another consideration Leaders must be aware of when transforming their culture into a successful soulful environment is to understand what is happening in the personal lives of our employees and how that impacts their level of productivity and engagement. Studies show that change is doubling every year leaving us with little time to adapt to a new normal. When we piggy-back the massive changes happening in the workplace on top of the shifts occurring in our personal lives, it can be extremely difficult to manage this level of pressure. In a recent survey conducted by the American Psychological Association, 43% of people say stress has increased in the past year. It’s no surprise to me that 44% of the respondents of a recent survey by Power Up People Inc. indicated the biggest change occurring in their life is a health-related concern. It doesn’t take a Rocket Scientist to understand the correlation between stress and the impact it has on our health and how that impacts the bottom line.
When we operate in a positive energy environment, adopt a growth mindset and are surrounded by supportive people, we tend to feel healthier. Helping our people learn to navigate these shifting times, at home and at work, leads to a healthy culture, not only in the workplace, but also in our communities. And in case you haven’t been watching the news, our world could use this type of domino effect.
A company is only as evolved as its people. We can focus on strategy, innovation and leadership competencies all day long, but until we take the time to devote the proper energy toward enriching the lives of each valuable employee, the collective culture will struggle to evolve. Culture transformation is the direct result of the personal transformation of its people. Taking a leadership role to help awaken their minds to see their own true essence is the first step toward a unified workforce and even bigger, a peaceful coexistence. We are depending on you, the leaders of the corporate world, to take care of your people and provide them with the tools to thrive. If not you, who? If not now, when?
Perhaps this is the new CSR (Corporate Soul Responsibility). By first recognizing it’s the state of the people who make up the true essence of the organization, then nurturing the well-being of those people and providing a safe space for them to evolve into the next greatest version of themselves is what will truly transform a culture. And when people feel encouraged, capable, and are aligned with a sense of purpose, perhaps their own destiny, they will lead your organization well into the future. The “soul food” for profitability and the new era of leadership is simply to embrace, cultivate and masterfully practice a dedication to destiny.
Angel Carlton is a Transformational Leadership Coach, Keynote Speaker, Author of Dedicated to Destiny, A Pursuit of Personal Growth Prosperity & Purpose and podcast Co-host of Chicks Talking Shift.