Your address will show here +12 34 56 78
Uncategorized
“How can I help?”

This is the fundamental question I am asking charity leaders day in and day out.

Our purpose at Catalyst is to provide charity leaders with the support, resources, and confidence they need to be Healthy Leaders and to lead Healthy Organizations. All our programs, tools, and sessions are responses to what leaders have told us is needed for that to happen.

After some important changes in our approach in 2021 and in anticipation of continuing to emerge from the restrictions of the pandemic we have prioritized two offerings to charities for 2022.

1. Catalyst Leadership Intensive
A successful pilot project with 8 Canadian charities in 2021 has prepared us to revise and relaunch our Intensive for 2022.

This program provides proven workshops and training sessions for your entire team, as well as monthly one on one leadership conversations for the lead staff person. Interaction with other participating organizations for some sessions encourages peer learning and the ongoing leadership plans will serve you for years to come. By bringing all our best content into a 12 month model we enable charity leaders to focus on other priorities while we deliver practical and effective leadership development.

Check out the details and contact us to talk about how the Catalyst Intensive could enhance your leadership health and impact.

2. PACE for Leaders
This core component of the Intensive is also offered as a separate package for individual leaders.

A monthly session with Chris Wignall to provide you with Perspective, Accountability, Challenge, and Encouragement in the specifics of your life and leadership may be particularly timely in the year ahead. Whether you are a new leader or well established in your role, having supportive insight from an experienced consultant can make you more focused and confident, while also providing guidance for the particular challenges you are facing. Charity executives have been benefitting from PACE sessions with Chris for more than a decade.

Learn more about PACE and book a free first session to experience for yourself how it can be helpful.

Alongside these programs we will continue to provide workshops, webinars, and consulting to charity leaders, teams, and boards as available. You can see some of the available topics on our website, and be sure to subscribe to Catalyst Content for the latest updates, ideas, and opportunities from Catalyst and other resources to support your leadership.
0

Uncategorized
Bill Belichick, the most successful coach in NFL history, continuously tells his players “Do your job.”

If each athlete focuses all their efforts on their particular responsibilities within the team strategy they should win. The logic makes sense and the results are pretty convincing. But that model depends on having the right resources, people, information, and support.

Charities rarely have all of those things. Especially in the small and mid-sized organizations Catalyst usually works with.

Charity leaders, especially in an ongoing pandemic, struggle to align limited funds, staff, energy, and capacity among all the competing demands that fit within the broad idea of “do your job”. The needs are relentless and even the most effective among us have to prioritize. Unfortunately, we can’t do it all.

Often this means we find ourselves delaying, reducing, or totally neglecting leadership development for ourselves and our team. We all know it’s important, it just slides down our to do list a little too far to be handled properly. (The fact that most donors aren’t enthusiastic about funding conferences and staff retreats doesn’t help.)

This challenge is one of the reasons Catalyst offers our One Year Leadership Intensive

By providing individual monthly leadership coaching for senior leaders paired with a series of webinars and team training sessions that speak to the needs of both individuals and teams we hope to take one important part of “do your job” off the to do list and lock it into your calendar. We can guide the process for a year with tools and a model that have proven effective. You can focus on all the other priorities knowing that a significant investment is being made in developing Healthy Leaders and a Healthy Organization.

That’s not to say that our program is the ideal fit for everyone. If you are a leader who excels at developing yourself and your people and you want to prioritize that among your responsibilities we want to cheer you on. Maybe a one time session of ours can add to the good things you’re doing. If you have a thriving HR or Leadership department that has the capacity to deliver internal training, or your executives and managers are skilled and committed to doing this work that’s excellent. 

But if you recognize that some outside involvement would be beneficial there are lots of consultants, conferences, and tools that may be a great fit. We’re always happy to recommend great people and resources (you can see some every month in our Catalyst Content newsletter). 

Choosing the right outside voices to enhance what you are doing to strengthen your leadership and your team can be difficult. We always prefer to have a good conversation with you to understand both what your organization needs and if there’s a natural connection between us. Tools are great, but the best consultant for you will go beyond the tools with strong rapport and an intuitive sense of how to adapt to the particular realities you are facing right now.

We are actively recruiting for the 2022 Leadership Intensive. If it could be a fit for your team’s development next year we’d love to talk about it. If you are confident in what you are providing for your team but could benefit from some individual leadership support and guidance consider PACE sessions. And if a single session using one of our tools or a custom approach suited to the specifics of your situation would help we have those options too.

Whether it’s with us, another excellent provider, or your own internal approach, we want to encourage you to continue to see developing leadership in your organization as an essential aspect of what it means to “do your job”.


Photo by Eric Steinhauer from Pexels
1

Healthy Leaders, Healthy Organizations

Catalyst Leadership Intensive 2022


Click here for downloadable pdf of program details:Catalyst Leadership Intensive 2022-3


Charity leadership is harder than ever. COVID-19’s lasting impact, economic fallout, and global uncertainties with no clear end in sight have made the best plans and practices fall apart around us. The leadership approaches we were trained in can’t answer all the questions we have to ask now. On top of that, many of the ways we’ve developed leaders in the past are now impossible.

In 2021 Catalyst began offering a unique new Leadership Intensive to help you lead well in this reality. We’ve had lots of success, learned a lot, and now we’re ready to offer an improved new opportunity for you and your organization to have healthier leadership in 2022.

Healthy Leaders, Healthy Organizations brings together our most impactful tools in a format that can be delivered entirely remotely to any charity, anywhere in the world, in a single calendar year. And it may be just what you need.

Leaders who commit themselves and their teams to the Leadership Intensive can expect to be challenged, encouraged, and invested in towards long term growth in organizational health and impact, as well as sustainable healthy leadership. You will develop and maintain an Organizational Leadership Plan and a Personal Development Plan that will guide your growth for years to come. Your team will be guided in exploring new tools, familiar ideas, and proven approaches to strengthen your organizational culture. 

It is a significant commitment. It will bring significant impact.

Key Components:

  1. Monthly PACE Sessions with first chair leader: General coaching (Perspective, Accountability, Challenge, Encouragement)
  2. Catalyst Content Sessions (5+): Webinar/Zoom sessions of our core tools; recorded for those unable to participate live. (Healthy Organizations, Healthy Leaders, Kryptonite, etc.)
  3. Team Training Sessions (3+): Facilitated Zoom sessions for each organization separately to maximize the application of the content in your context. (REACTION Dashboard, 4 Disciplines of Execution, Power of Celebration) 
  4. Custom Team Training Session: Once during the year we will work with you to design and deliver a training session that meets the specific needs your organization is dealing with right now. 
  5. Practical Application Plans: Guided questions to help increase the impact of the sessions and build tools and approaches that will remain long after the year ends. (Organizational Leadership Plan, Personal Development Plan, Warning Lights and Celebrations, Board Development Plan, etc.).
  6. Summer Book Club: Facilitated online discussion

Program Schedule:


Month

First Chair Leader

Facilitated Team Training

Catalyst Content Session

Practical Application

January

PACE

 

January 13, 2022 12:30-2:00pm ET

Healthy Organizations: Strategy, Execution, Culture 

Organizational Leadership Plan

February

PACE

 

February 10, 2022 12:30-2:00pm ET

Healthy Leaders:

Skills, Effort, Identity

Personal Development Plan

March

PACE

REACTION Dashboard

2 hours – Scheduled with each organization. 

 

Address Warning Lights and Celebrations

April

PACE

 

April 14, 2021

12:30-2:00pm ET

5 S’s of Strategic Communication

Review External Communications

May

PACE

 

May 12, 2021

12:30-2:00pm ET

Kryptonite: Insecurity and Confidence

Update Personal Development Plan

June

PACE

Custom Team Training

1.5-2 hours designed and scheduled for your specific needs

  

July

PACE 

(if available)

 

Summer Book Club (Optional)

 

August

PACE 

(if available)

 

Summer Book Club (Optional)

Update Organizational Leadership Plan

September

PACE

 

September 15, 2022

12:30-2:00pm

Self-care and Stress Strategies

 

October

PACE

5 Questions for Healthy Boards

1.5 hours – Scheduled with each organization.

 

Board Development Plan

November

PACE

 

November 10, 2022

12:30-2:00pm ET

Facilitation 101: Leading Conversations That Count

Update Organizational Leadership Plan 

December

PACE

The Power of Celebration

1.5 hours – Scheduled with each organization.

 

Final Feedback & Commitments



Commitment

We call this an Intensive for good reason. To make the most of this opportunity for your organization you will need to prioritize all the sessions and to keep up with the Practical Applications. The greatest cost will be the time and energy for you and your team. 

That said, there is a fee to participate. The value of all the content exceeds $15000. Thanks to the generosity of our founders we are able to provide a discount of $11500, leaving the subsidized cost to your organization at $3500. This can be paid in full in January 2022 or in $350 monthly instalments from January to October. (All values in Canadian dollars).

If this is not a good time for you to join the Intensive we may be able to serve you in other ways. Contact us to discuss how a single event or PACE series may be helpful.

Eligibility:

Because this program can be delivered entirely remotely we are able to make it available to charities anywhere in the world that are able to:

-Commit to the entire process
-Participate comfortably in the English language
-Have reliable internet access for Zoom/Skype sessions

Ideal partners will be organizations with:

-a minimum of 10 active staff
-an expectation of stability in senior leadership roles for the duration of the program and 1-2 years following
-support from the board of directors for participating in the program
-a desire to make ongoing leadership development a core aspect of their organizational strategy and culture.

We welcome charities to apply regardless of location, cause, religious affiliation or lack thereof, annual budget, or past involvement with Catalyst. Applications will be processed with consideration for both anticipated impact on the charity and the impact of the charity on the world. Our desire is to provide this opportunity to a diverse group of participants and special consideration is given to underrepresented communities.

Application Process

We want this to work. For that reason we strongly encourage you to have a conversation with our Executive Director Chris Wignall before applying to join the One Year Intensive. You need to feel highly confident that this investment will be impactful and that Chris will be a fit for what you need. After that you can fill out a form of interest on our website. (Please review the form in advance, it does require some preparation). 

An online application form will be posted when applications open on November 15, 2021 and must be submitted by November 30, 2021 to be considered. We encourage all interested charities to schedule a conversation with our Executive Director prior to completing the application.

All applicants will receive a response on or before December 6, 2021.

Questions?

We welcome questions either through the contact form on our website or by direct email to our Executive Director – chris@leadwithcatalyst.com

0

Uncategorized
Since 2008 Catalyst Foundation has been supporting charity leaders and organizations. The generosity of our founders has enabled us to provide both grants and fully funded leadership services to charities across Canada and beyond. Over the years our focus has shifted from primarily funding, with a leadership emphasis, to now being almost entirely focused on leadership consulting. 

To better reflect that reality and to prepare for anticipated future growth in our capacity to serve the charitable sector we are making some changes.

First; a slight rebrand. We are no longer Catalyst Foundation. To better reflect the way we work we are dropping the word Foundation and our website is now www.leadwithcatalyst.com. Most people just call us Catalyst anyway and we’re good with that. There will be some other changes to our site to make it easier for you to see the ways we can help.

Second; we are moving to a subsidized fee for service model. We want to continue, and expand, our ability to provide you with a variety of ways to be Healthy Leaders and Healthy Organizations. Adopting a fee structure that supports our current work and enables us to grow in the future is the best way to fulfill our vision. This transition is underway.

What will this mean for charity leaders?

Catalyst is still here for you. We have a variety of individual sessions, team training workshops, year long partnerships, and resources to help you and your organization thrive. In fact, we are working on some new ideas to serve you better. What is different is that we now have a fee structure for these services. We’ll continue to monitor the needs of the sector and the work of other excellent consultants to ensure we are offering great value. As always, we will do what we can to ensure that you can access the leadership services you need.

In the next few weeks we’ll be announcing some special opportunities for the coming year. Our monthly newsletter will be the best way for you to never miss our updates. Subscribe here.





0

Uncategorized
I’m trying to get healthier.

I’ll be 49 years old in a little over a month. I recently had a nonthreatening skin cancer removed from my face and I’m having a torn meniscus in my left knee repaired in a couple weeks. I’m very aware that my body is not what it was in my 20’s.

I have a degree in kinesiology, a bunch of exercise equipment, a fancy fitness watch, lots of athletic clothes and shoes, and a shelf full of books about wellness. I’ve invested quite a bit into understanding what I need to do to be more fit.

And you know what? It all comes down to diet and exercise.

All the trendy workout programs…
All the latest miracle foods and supplements…
All the apps, gadgets, and memberships…

And the vast majority of what we really need to do to improve our physical health comes down to eating more of the foods we already know are healthy, less of the ones we all know are not, and making sure we get active more days than we don’t.

That will probably cover 90% of what most of us need to do; if we actually do it. I spend too much time, money, an energy chasing after the last 10% when I’m not consistent with the basics.

The same is true in leadership.

Many of us invest way too much in another leadership conference, course, coach, or consultant trying to find the latest magical tool to unlock greatness when we would be far better off to make sure we’re doing the basics – the diet and exercise of leadership.

(Some of you are now anticipating me listing those basics, maybe hoping that will expose the secret cure for everything that ails your organization; but I’m not going to do that. I’m confident that you already know most of what you need to know to lead very well.)

I love developing new tools and workshops for leaders. I wrote a leadership book that I’m proud of. I’m one of those consultants that hopes to provide you with valuable insights that can help you increase your impact through greater leader and organizational health. But in the majority of the sessions I lead I explain at the start that there’s probably nothing I have to share that is truly new. Most leaders could come up with these same basics on the back of a napkin if they sat down and thought about it for a bit.

So maybe the real value isn’t providing some miraculous new system, but in reminding one another that the basics are readily apparent most of the time. Let’s get the diet and exercise stuff right first and we can figure out the last bits afterward.

Let me know if I can help.


Subscribe to the monthly Catalyst Content Newsletter
0

Uncategorized
One of the most difficult things a leader ever has to do is walk away.

Whether it’s by choice, by retirement, or by termination, too few leaders show their best selves on the way out. This pattern holds true across industries and the costs of it are deeply damaging.

Sadly; a generation of long term charity leaders have provided far too many examples of what not to do. There are numerous well known stories of leaders who hang on too long, become self-serving in their final seasons, meddle in the organization after their departure, or are found to have betrayed their integrity.

There are many other similar stories that are known only to a small number of affected people.

Why is it so hard for leaders to leave?

1. They have too little identity outside of their role. We want leaders who exemplify the cause and values of the organization, but when that becomes the centre of their sense of self the thought of leaving it behind is devastating. It drives a dark insecurity that pushes good leaders to do things they would never have done in their better moments. 

2. They haven’t invested properly in developing successors. Many of today’s senior leaders never experienced being mentored by their predecessors. They rose to the top of their field somewhat independently and, while they may believe in the idea of preparing for succession, they simply don’t really understand how to help younger leaders prepare for senior roles. This leaves them with a sense that no one is ready for the responsibility and that they have to maintain control themselves.

3. They have no outlet. Decades of holding authority in primarily top-down leadership structures does not prepare the leader for stepping aside and finding influence in other ways. They are aware of all the accumulated knowledge and wisdom they hold and don’t know what to do with it if not in the first chair. The very real sense that what they offer is important is undermined by an inability to conceive of a way to contribute differently.

4. They thrive in power. Weaving through all the previous challenges is the truth that many leaders have become so accustomed to having, using, and managing power that the prospects of living without it are demoralizing. 

So what can we do better?

1. Normalize transition. Succession planning needs to be a constant, not something we reluctantly engage in when the current leader appears near departure. I’m an advocate for long term leadership but it’s unwise to not be always preparing for the possibility of change. Boards can take initiative on this with lead staff.

2. Mentor them in mentoring. Create the expectation that senior leaders are actively developing the leadership ability and technical skills of all their direct reports. Building understanding of generational tendencies with a resource like Sticking Points may be useful. Provide mentors with training, active feedback from their mentees, and accountability to deliver on this as a non-negotiable aspect of their role. 

3. Form exemplary peer groups. Senior executives need to move beyond the “lonely at the top” idea by actively connecting with current peers (and successfully retired examples). Seek out leaders who have departed well in a variety of ways and make it part of your dialogue. Share stories of transitions that went well and dig behind the scenes to find out what it took to make that happen.

4. Actively dismantle the damaging myths of leadership. Beyond the previously mentioned myth of isolation, there are expectations that leaders need to hold authority, control the organization, dominate meetings, and retain their influence. None of this makes for healthy transitions. More collaborative models of leadership and approaches that emphasize the leader’s role as developer rather than controller of the organization set a better tone. More than that; leaders seeing their identity beyond their work needs to become typical and affirmed.

5. Promote healthy versions of retirement. The idea that the only options are 60+ hour weeks or complete leisure is outdated and unhelpful. Look into creative options of part time consulting, board work, voluntary mentoring, resource development, and exploring new interests. The phrase “choice to work” helps me reframe the idea of a stage of life beyond full time employment.

It seems every relevant expert agrees there is a coming wave of leadership transitions and a shortage of qualified leaders to take over. The best way to manage this challenge is ensuring that succession is prepared for well and handled in ways that allow departing veterans to continue sharing their hard won wisdom even after they move on. Accomplishing this requires intentionality from boards, senior leaders, and successors. As leaders, we know the importance of handing this well. We can’t afford to continue seeing sloppiness, selfishness, stubbornness or insecurity making things more difficult. 


Photo by Anete Lusina from Pexels 

Subscribe to the monthly Catalyst Content Newsletter
0

Uncategorized
I usually avoid conflict and controversy.

I have strong opinions on lots of things but I generally prefer to share them discerningly and in contexts where trust has been established and any misunderstandings have a good chance of being addressed. I’m not afraid of tough topics (some friends tease me about always hunting for the elephant in the room) but I prioritize maintaining healthy relationships over trying to win an argument. It has served me well, mostly.

In a time and culture where there can be a lot of affirmation for posting or saying things that dismiss or demean others in search of a clever mic drop moment I sometimes struggle. The thing is, I can be highly judgmental and I’m quick witted enough to craft some pretty clever tweets that could probably earn me some kudos from those on my side.

But that’s not what I deeply want.

As much as the endorphin rush of a cutting comment can be fun, it always leaves me feeling crappy afterward. It’s the fast food of human interaction; enticing and immediately satisfying but often with regret later.

I would ultimately much rather persuade someone to consider my viewpoint than embarrass them online and have them turn away. (And in my best moments I am even open to being persuaded by others that I may be wrong too).

I’ve written before, and delivered a webinar, on the things leaders should consider before taking a stand on controversial topics. As much as I am convicted that there are times when bold positions must be taken, I hold to the belief that the real desire is not to win a debate or “dunk on” someone but to help them choose to join us. That may take time, it may require extending more grace than I want to, and it definitely means I have to resist the temptation to blast away at people who have different positions than I do. But it actually helps me.

There are many things I was pretty sure about years ago that I see completely differently now. I often say that my most fundamental theological conviction is that I am wrong about a great many things. That perspective should remind me to keep some humility in play.

I respect that some people are drawn to battle. They are wired to engage in debates and are able to stay emotionally removed from the conflict. That’s never been me. And from what I’ve observed its not the majority of us.

Everyone I know seems to agree that increasing polarization and division is dangerous. In our honest reflections a lot of us can think of a friendship that was lost over an issue that is really not worth that much. There are too many big issues, too much we have in common, and too much we need one another to achieve for us to willingly part ways without making greater efforts to stay connected.

I’m not saying bite your tongue when someone says something offensive or overlook any of the toxic behaviours or abuses of power that are so common and so damaging. I’m just asking us to forego the cheap rush of blasting each other and try instead to remind ourselves that flawed humanity is our universal affliction. From that basis we can address the real issues in ways that hang on to hope for change and the possibility of growth for as long as possible.

There are some things worth closing the door on someone, but getting a few likes or emojis from the echo chamber isn’t it. And I need that reminder, probably more than you do.

Subscribe to the monthly Catalyst Content Newsletter
0

Uncategorized
“How much longer are you going to let this one person require too much of your energy and drag down the team culture?”

Some version of the question has been one of the most important challenges I’ve given to leaders I’ve advised over the past several years. I’m not an employment lawyer or HR professional so all I can offer is the insights gained from my own experience, observations, and reflections.

Time and again there is a hesitance to explicitly confront problematic people, or to terminate them when the leader has determined in their own mind that the needed change isn’t going to happen. 

I get it. Firing people is costly on many levels and I’m not sure I’d want to work with someone who enjoyed it. On top of that there is  the fear of legal consequences and a very human desire to not hurt anyone. It’s tough.

We know the axiom of “hire slowly, fire quickly” but actually doing it is rare.

Too often we tolerate people who’s attitudes, behaviour, or relational failings are negatively impacting the entire group. It’s so tempting to keep trying to nudge them into line or justify the need to wait just a little longer before making the move, especially if they are otherwise productive. Some blend of compassion, confusion, and cowardice extends the situation and increases the damage.

What if we reframe the dynamic?

Instead of firing the person, fire the behaviour. 

Once you’ve determined that a pattern of behaviour needs to be eliminated be decisive about getting rid of it. As a leader that’s your responsibility. The individual is then responsible for their efforts to remain in the organization by changing, or they can leave. (I know the ultimate effect is the same but the mindset shift may make it easier).

By firing the behaviour early and providing the individual with every opportunity to stay through coaching, training, accountability, or whatever accommodations you can reasonably provide; you are emphasizing your organizations capture and values. You are defining the way things are around here. And you are creating space between the person and the problem for a solution to be found. You are giving them clarity and a chance.

Set yourself, your team, and your employee free from the unhealthy dynamic. Focus on the real issue. Reinforce what matters. And do it now.

You can not afford to keep hoping the situation gets better, and you don’t want to fire the employee: Fire the behaviour. 


Photo by Anna Shvets from Pexels

Subscribe to the monthly Catalyst Content Newsletter
0

Uncategorized
Take a block from the middle and you put it on top…

If you’ve never played the classic family game of moving wood blocks out of a stable tower and placing them gently to build the tower higher just click on the link above; it’s a classic.

A leader I’m working with has been getting a lot of resistance to some of the new initiatives they are bringing to a long established organization. It’s frustrating to follow all the theories about how to introduce change and still have people making complaints and accusations about mission drift and abandoning the good history of the cause. Even more so when you’ve deliberately over-communicated, slowed things down, and carefully explained how well aligned these projects with the mission/vision/values and the opportunities for greater impact that will come.

So what’s happening here?

I think its a game of Jenga.

For some people, moving any block from the stable tower (even if the tower is becoming outdated and declining in results) puts the whole tower at risk. They can’t discern which pieces are load bearing and they are afraid everything that has been accomplished could be destroyed by moving the wrong block.

These fears aren’t entirely unreasonable. There are endless examples of organizations that have collapsed or lost their centre when leaders moved the wrong block.

Some people, whether due to demographics, personality types, lived experience, or the influence of others who oppose change, are simply unable to perceive which blocks represent essentials and which ones are actually moveable. (This may be more true in faith based organizations where opinions about some matters may be rooted in deeply embedded traditions and convictions with limited room for nuance.)

Coming back to organizational values is a key part of getting this right. When Accidental Values are mistaken for Core Values change is going to be seen as a threat.

Strong leaders have a knack for identifying which blocks can better be used to grow the tower, and which ones need to stay in place to keep things from falling apart. Wise leaders also have the insight to help others see the difference so they can join in the process of change instead of resisting it.

Ultimately there may be times when your certainty that a block can be moved safely can’t convince everyone. That’s when you need to carefully consider the risks and benefits and then make a confident decision. Either leave it in place for now and trust that if it needs to be moved there will be a better time to do so, or move it and accept the possibility that it may fail, and even if it succeeds some people may never be able to acknowledge that you were right.

And even if the tower falls, you’ll probably have a chance to gather the pieces and start again.


If you could use a little help articulating values, figuring out which blocks to move, or leading with confidence, clarity, and compassion; contact us for a free conversation about how we can help.


Photo by cottonbro from Pexels

Subscribe to the monthly Catalyst Content Newsletter
0

Uncategorized
Which comes first?

As we work towards Healthy Leaders and Healthy Organizations the question arises:
What is the higher priority; the health of the leader or the health of the organization?

Of course we want to see growth in both, that’s obvious. What leaders are asking is how the two important things interact and affect one another. Do healthy leaders make healthy organizations or is it more the other way around?

Here’s what I’ve seen:
-An unhealthy organization repeatedly hire apparently healthy leaders who either became or had hidden the truth that they were already unhealthy resulting in several years of dysfunction and underperformance.
-A healthy organization that hired a leader who was coming out of an unhealthy organization and was currently unhealthy. After some initial struggles the leader got healthier and there was significant success.
-An unhealthy organization promoting a healthy leader who invested heavily in organizational health with significant success, but later became an unhealthy leader due to outside factors.
-A healthy leader who took over an organization that appeared healthy but was stagnant. The efforts to bring change exposed some unhealthy patterns that were difficult to overcome because unhealthy people didn’t know they were unhealthy.
-A healthy leader leading a healthy organization that came into dramatic conflict with an unhealthy global head office that had hired an unhealthy leader resulting in great pain and the closing of the global organization.

And there are many variations on these themes.

Understanding that healthy is not truly a binary reality: neither leaders nor organizations can be fairly typed as definitively healthy or unhealthy; there are still some strong tendencies that are worth considering.

Organizational culture is very powerful and not easily changed (even with effective tools like The REACTION Dashboard). Most people are more affected by the relative health of their organization than the affect they have on it. In general, unhealthy organizations are more likely to drag down healthy leaders than the opposite.

But that is not always the case.

Some leaders who are healthy and have positions of significant influence can transform the health of their organization. Most organizations come to resemble their senior leaders over time so healthy leaders can absolutely bring health to organizations, if they are attentive, intentional, and persistent in both their own health and that of the organization.

So which comes first?

For leaders in positions of limited influence it is rare that their own health can bring enough change to make the organization healthy. In fact, if they find the organization’s dysfunctions beginning to negatively effect their own well-being it is often best to consider the possibility of leaving. 

But senior leaders who are committed to their own health can bring health to unhealthy organizations.

So the first step is Healthy Leaders, with Healthy Organizations following very closely behind and the clear understanding that neither is ultimately effective without the other, and that both are ongoing practices not achievements or certifications to attain and set aside. Health is a constant process of assessment, action, and adjustment.

Whether you see your primary need as Healthy Leaders or Healthy Organizations we have insights, tools, and workshops that can help you improve your current reality and develop ongoing practices that will ultimately lead to more resilient people and greater lasting impact. Contact Us for a free consultation to see how we can help.

Photo by cottonbro from Pexels

Subscribe to the monthly Catalyst Content Newsletter
0