Imagine this: You are on your hands and knees in a labyrinth. Except that you don’t know that you are on your hands and knees, nor that you are in a labyrinth. And no matter what you do, you can’t find your way out of this confusing tunnel of rights and lefts. You are stuck in blind alleys and cul-de-sacs, so you don’t get to where you want to be. You twist, you turn, but no matter which way you go, you can’t find your way.
This a is a metaphor for your life: you have a big assumption about yourself and how the world works. Everybody has one. Your problem is that if you don’t know what it is, then it is likely running your life – without you knowing it.
What you don’t question is why you are on your hands and knees in the first place. Why don’t you question it? Because that’s what you have always done, as long as you remember.
Carl Jung famously said “Until you make the unconscious conscious, it will direct your life and you will call it fate.”
Your first challenge as a leader, therefore, is to discover the big assumption(s) you have about yourself and the world. When you uncover the unconscious drivers of the decisions that make you reactive, you can move from being subject to them and actually turn them into objects – things which you can interact with, control, and leave behind.
Your second challenge is to support your team to uncover the collective big assumption(s) which direct and govern how the team functions and how it interacts with your organization and the business environment of which it is part.
Your third and final challenge is to support the transformational process of the individuals in your team – individually and collectively.
To support others in this process demands from you the leadership skill of creating psychological safety. Only when you’re able to create a psychologically safe environment can your people show up open and honestly, practice new behaviours and make mistakes as they learn, feel valued for their unique contributions, and finally, challenge the status quo in ways they never considered possible.
And that’s what it means to sow the seeds of sustainable innovation.
So back to the start of the labyrinth: what’s your big assumption about yourself and the world?
Don’t know, or not sure what to do when you discover it?
Get in touch with us to find out how leadership coaching can help you be more intentional in your world.