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Susan Dunlop: Lead Believe Create

From Mastery to Humanity: Ben’s Journey from Profits to People

In the dynamic landscape of business leadership, navigating challenges while fostering growth is a constant pursuit. For many CEOs, the journey towards organisational transformation begins with a pivotal decision—seeking executive coaching.

When Ben found himself at a crossroads, the internal dynamics within his company were not just hindering progress; they were also causing him immense stress and anxiety, pulling him away from his core focus. Ben courageously shared at the 3VQ trainer community summit in 2021 that, despite his company’s success, internal disputes among executives were consuming too much of his time—a result of his pioneering yet unanticipated challenges in a non-misogynistic approach to leadership.

Ben’s search for an executive coach was driven by a need to resolve these disputes effectively. He candidly admitted during the interview:

“I’m an introvert. Interacting with people drains my energy. I wasn’t active in engaging with people. The coach I chose understood what was happening underneath, which I couldn’t see.”

The coaching journey with the executive coach (a fellow 3VQ facilitator/coach in the USA) began with swiftly addressing the initial issues. Assessments and individual coaching sessions were rolled out for the executive leadership, setting the stage for transformative discussions that were initially foreign to Ben. He confessed:

“At first, my focus was really just trying to force some discussions to occur and to have facilitated meetings. Those facilitated meetings led us to longer-term planning discussions we had never ventured into before.”

During the COVID-19 pandemic, with staff working remotely, Ben saw the value in continuing the coach’s engagement to have someone outside the organisation facilitate necessary discussions. He was beginning to see that he was part of the problem. His lack of understanding of people management was creating barriers:

“I didn’t understand what DISC work meant. I didn’t know what 3VQ and TED* was. It all seemed like hogwash to me—just touchy, feely stuff, not how I operate.”

As Ben engaged in these facilitated discussions, known as sweaty conversations, he began to see the benefits.

“It was really just the facilitated discussions, getting us to interact with each other in a safe, honest space, where we could really try to get some buy-in from everyone, including me, to understand how our behaviours were impacting others.”

Gallup’s research underscores this transformation, revealing that leaders account for up to 70% of the variance in employee engagement scores. Ben’s story exemplifies how a leader’s openness to understanding and changing their behaviour can profoundly affect an organisation’s morale and productivity.

Introspective Questions for CEOs:
  1. How engaged are your employees, and what steps can you take to enhance their motivation and commitment?
  2. If you have a leadership program in place, does it help you and your employees understand the underlying dynamics of how you think, interact, and take action?
  3. As a leader, how are you relating to others, your experience and yourself? Are you producing or perpetuating drama or empowering others and yourself to be more resourceful, resilient and innovative?
  4. How does your leadership style impact employee engagement and organisational culture?
  5. Are you effectively communicating your vision and goals to inspire and align your team?
Closing Thoughts

Ben’s journey is a powerful reminder of the transformative impact of not needing to have all the answers before seeking help when it comes to people.

His story highlights the initial steps of a leader embracing vulnerability and trusting an experienced guide to navigate the complexities of human dynamics within a company. As Ben’s story continues, you will see how the courage to participate in and listen during facilitated discussions led to a broader organisational change and improved how team members interacted and understood each other.

Ben’s journey will continue to unfold over the coming weeks, each revealing a different aspect of his transformative path from scepticism to full engagement. Through embracing the empowered language of The Empowerment Dynamic (*TED) and leveraging the insights of the 3 Vital Questions framework, Ben’s story illuminates the profound impact of leadership development on both personal growth and organisational success.

If you missed the full overview of Ben’s story here is the link to the previous week’s blog.

Ready to embark on your own transformative journey?

A great first step is to read or listen to David Emerald’s book, The Power of TED* (*The Empowerment Dynamic), for invaluable insights into shifting from the Dreaded Drama Triangle (DDT) to The Empowerment Dynamic (TED*).

The Power of TED David Emerald

We have seen leaders order The Power of TED* for their entire workforces!

If you would like to place a bulk order, please contact us via this link to the Contact Form.

Start your journey of self-awareness and organisational transformation today!

Have a fantastic week!

Susan

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