End the Dysfunctional Duality, Celebrate Individuality

End the Dysfunctional Duality, Celebrate Individuality

As leaders, we have encouraged or permitted the dysfunctional duality (separateness) of a workplace and a home place; and team members with a “work-life” and a “rest of life.” It sounds counterproductive and inefficient and confining, just saying it aloud.

And, of course there are no instructions about the boundaries: It’s, “You’ll know when you are being ‘too human’ in the workplace because I will point it out.” The epitome of corporate unwellness.

Yet here we are.

We have permitted this sense of duality to go on so long that leaders and coaches must consciously learn techniques to simply get back to what is rational, and human, and effective. It is simpler than it seems, but also difficult to break habits and perceptions that have become sclerotic over decades.

We are at a point of a needed renaissance in leadership that allows for individuality to take its place among valued human qualities, if not celebrated.

Think of an organization as a symphony orchestra led by a conductor. The performance that the orchestra-as-organization creates is something impossible to be done as individuals. To be at its best, this team of human beings led by another, must each apply themselves to the work at hand with the best of their ability.

No one individual can create all the notes needed to deliver the sound intended by the composer. But each team member contributes those from their instrument in the context of the score. Together the “possible” is texture and richness, and a unique creation based upon the unique contributions of the individuals who are a part of it.

The conductor without the musicians would just be someone waving a baton around while, weirdly (in most organizations), standing on a box.

Humans coming together to accomplish any work beyond the one-dimensional have a need for organization. This organizing happens more rapidly and efficiently if someone understands the purpose, the requirements, and the resources needed to get it done. The role of the conductor, a leader.

A big part of a leader’s job today is to set the tone for a more accepting culture, and to show the way by allowing themselves to be seen and approached as more fully human. By doing so, the leader is sending a clear invitation for a cultural adaptation which (always) takes the entire “village” to materialize.

Each human is unique, and each is further singular in playing their various roles in living. The common element is not the work or the outputs. The common element is what makes each person distinct, and how that uniqueness can be expressed in the service of the things they choose to do with it. This opportunity is a whole “life” unbounded by the walls of “home” or “work” or other artificial boundaries.

The door was opened when COVID enabled the blending of home and work in #workfromhome. As more workers reintegrate to one degree or another in the office, this is a reminder that home and work can be the same or different physical locations, but our individuality and humanity are present wherever we are engaged.

No leader can separate what isn’t separable, no matter what words they use.
~Will Keiper

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#leadership #leadershipcoaching #businesscoach #coachingleaders #leadershipdevelopment #executivecoaching #leaderascoach #awareness #consciousleadership

The Leader & The Coach by Steve Chandler & Will Keiper
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