Last week, I told you about my experience hearing former US president Barack Obama speak on leadership and that I would share with you his wisdom in future blogs posts.
In our last post, Obama talked about forming daily habits as the secret to change. We couldn’t agree more – we call it myelination – or the repetition needed to develop positive habits in your life, and your leadership.
But Obama admitted the hardest part of all this was developing the right habits and making the right changes. Transmitting skills is easy, Obama said.
“Leadership is not grown from a manual,” the former president told the crowd.
“It is an operating system that is developed over time.”
Forming positive daily habits is important to affect overall positive change in your leadership ability. However, without a sound operating system to build and develop those changes, they may be doing you no good.
What is your leadership operating system?
It could be your company’s overall mandate. It could also be how your company views the training and development of its most valuable resource – its employees. It can also be your own personal values. As Obama said, there’s no specific manual, but that the operating system is developed over time.
If the operating system is flawed, there is a higher degree of likelihood that your daily habits aren’t taking you, or your co-workers, forward. So, it’s time to examine closely the operating system.
To illustrate this to the extreme, let’s take the career criminal. What does their operating system look like?
Their perspective on what’s right and wrong, their experiences, their needs and wants, their environment – that’s all shaped their operating system. If they’re developing daily habits based on that operating system, they aren’t able to make positive change in their life. It’s because their operating system is flawed. Their daily habits could be perpetuating their criminal behaviour and therefore never really giving them the chance to change their lives.
Criminals simply think it’s OK to commit crimes in order to reach their objective.
Do we want our organizations to operate in this fashion? I hope not. And while they may not be criminal in their approach, they may have flaws in their operating system that perpetuate a toxic culture where productivity is stifled, there’s a general malaise in the workplace, turnover is high and there’s no opportunity for personal or professional growth.
Have you ever asked yourself, “what’s my operating system?” Probably not. It might be a question worth thinking about.
“When you aren’t connected to your values, we become susceptible to short-term thinking that can have big consequences,” Obama said.
The unchecked OS
Imagine for a moment if Apple didn’t update its iOS. Security breaches. Glitches. Lagging phones, tablets and laptops. There’s a reason why we get updates for these machines on a regular basis. Lapses in their operating system are detected and they go about altering the OS to make their product sound and functioning in a changing information technology world.
To stay nimble and ahead, companies need to adopt the same mindset. There’s a reason why Apple is set to be the first company with a trillion dollar market capitalization.
You, or your organization, can’t afford to let more time go by with your operating system left unchecked. It just doesn’t lend itself well to the creation and perpetuation of daily habits that make changes for the better.
At Kraukman, we specialize in helping you create a sound operating system that helps your leaders develop daily habits that will empower themselves and others, and help provide a spark for personal and professional growth that leads them to greater productivity and happiness.
“Progress is the result of individual responsibility to make things better,” Obama said.
Let’s make things better by developing the right operating system for you or your organization.