Sometimes well-intentioned leaders just don’t get along. Last week I smiled with satisfaction when a CEO coaching client helped her colleagues with some really good counsel: “Have you tried goodness?” she coached. It’s moments like this when I know we are making a positive impact on the world of leadership and business with our point of view, and our book How Goodness Pays. Here’s more context:
Most of my work these days is coaching CEOs and their teams on how to grow their businesses to the next level of success with the idea, goodness pays. However, the process is anything but a straight line from when we are hired, to when we see we are improving their leadership. And their business results.
We focus the coaching on what we found in our research for the How Goodness Pays book which begins with the definition of goodness in business: when people thrive together in a culture of encouragement, accountability, and positive teamwork.
The “proof” that our coaching is paying off for the client usually comes at an unexpected time, when they tell stories about how things are getting better. In the story I started above, the CEO was telling me about how two very important, very headstrong leaders each had been complaining about one another to her. Both leaders were firmly defending their positions, and thoroughly frustrated. Each had asked the CEO for help in influencing the other.
Both headstrong leaders responded with dumbfounded silence when she coached: “Have you tried goodness?” She encouraged the two to work together to find ways they could both thrive together with encouragement, accountability, and positive teamwork. And then she said the magic words of accountability: “Because what this business needs is for the two of you to be fully aligned and delivering your business outcomes together. If you can’t get on the same page, I won’t choose one of you over the other…you will both have to go.”
It wasn’t a threat, it was a fact. Businesses can’t thrive if two of the top leaders are skeptical of each other’s motives, and playing the blame game for why they are missing their business results. Goodness pays when good leaders work together with good intentions – that’s what makes great business results possible.
Good leaders often create frustration and tension when they are intensely focused on good business results. And they learn to try goodness to help strong-minded people thrive together.
Please share with me: Have you tried goodness in your work lately?