Politics pertains to governance and the way governments operate. On a personal level to politic means to engage in activities that improve one's status or position. Thus we typically think political behavior is devious and divisive.
The Three-Dimensional Leader: Negotiating Your Mission, Resources and Context devotes an entire chapter to government’s problems due to politics. The book also cites an opinion poll that “office politics” create “workplace frustrations” for lots of people, and it contains interviews of several leaders, one of whom tells the story of taking over an organization that had been demoralized because “A lot of backbiting politics had taken place, and the managers could not get any support from the previous CEO.”
Governments often promote political slogans that sound good, but pit us one against the other, while failing to deliver operations that do little more than run up deficits.
3-D Principles’ Positive Political Possibilities
On both an individual and organizational level politics can be good and bad. Good politics is when I negotiate with you to fulfill the organization’s mission. Bad politics is when I manipulate people and circumstances to achieve my selfish or one-dimensional ends. The Three-Dimensional Leader states the goal is to a) do the right thing, b) in the right ways and c) for the right reasons.”
The most competent leaders “limit the politics that become the distractions that cause organizations to be driven by the personalities rather than by a common focus on their missions.”
It takes principled and skilled leadership to negotiate doing what is best for “We the People” in environments characterized by “politics as usual.” Three-Dimensional Leadership is a value system that focuses leaders on overcoming negative behaviors in our personal and workplace relationships and in the context of inter-organizational and governmental processes.
Motivation is an important element of leadership. To motivate means to stimulate someone’s interest and enthusiasm for doing what the organization needs him or her to accomplish.
Leaders can make people happy by letting them daily take long lunches, long breaks, leave work early and come late without recording it on their time sheets. Though those people may appreciate their leader, all may feel a great sense of loyalty to each other, the leader and the employees would be failing the organization.
Mission Matters Most
Mission matters most is a mantra of The Three-Dimensional Leader: Negotiating Your Mission, Resources and Context, which says, “Mission is the reason and purpose the organization exists... [,and] the reason leaders and employees exist within the organization.”
Leaders and employees are paid to fulfill an organization’s mission; not to pursue their own individual humanistic horizons of self-fulfillment, on the company’s time and at its expense. One-dimensional leadership and employee behaviors are selfish or are “all about me.” Three-dimensional leadership and employee behaviors fulfill the organization’s mission in the prescribed organization’s way.
Motivation Means Emphasizing the Main Thing
Strategic plans can be useless without appropriate leadership to implement them. Leaders must keep the main thing the main thing. What is good for mission fulfillment must guide every decision. People will attach themselves to a cause that seems worthy and is greater than themselves. Leaders should hold up the mission as that worthy cause to which people should rally.
The art of leadership is getting people to want to do what the mission requires. Wise leaders elevate the mission to rallying-cry status by infusing it with the inspiration of vision and the passion imbedded in the organization’s values. That is the art of motivating in a way that matters most.
Discovering Dormant Talents
“Why is this pension claim back on my desk?” I asked my secretary.
She replied, “I found an error in one of the calculations and traced it back to a typo transferred from one of the bank statements, and I corrected it, and I want you to check it over before I send it out.”
“That is the third such error you found this quarter. What are you, some kind of a numbers whiz?”
“I like numbers, and got straight A’s in business math and accounting.”
“Why don’t you do the math portions of these claims, and I’ll handle the medical disability analysis and write ups? Together, we’ll get more done, with fewer errors, as paperwork won’t bottleneck, pressuring me to rush claims in before the end of the month. The VA will receive error free paperwork, making their processing more efficient, so clients will receive quicker decisions and be more satisfied too.”
“If I do that and make a mistake, you’ll throw me under the bus. Promise me you won’t have clients and their families coming in here to blame me for things that are not my job!”
As my secretary stepped into a new role, production nearly quintupled. I took full responsibility to resolve any errors we made. This encouraged others to do more also, and our work environment flourished.
About two years later an organizational productivity assessment, revealed how we were achieving our unparalleled performance, and a new job title was developed based upon my secretary’s accomplishments. I negotiated as a rep for my professional union with her support staff union and our HR administration to facilitate the process, but it was worth it.
Great things happen when we empower others to reach their potential to solve organizational problems.
Getting consumed by distractions that break down relationships is as detrimental to achieving the mission that matters most in our offices as it is in football.
Winning in both environments requires what The Three-Dimensional Leader: http://bit.ly/3DLeaderBk
calls obtaining “synergy from diversity” by coordinating personalities and player types to achieve “collective competence.” Mission
Each football player focuses on winning the game by doing what their position requires.
The offenses’ mission
is to outscore the other team by advancing the ball across the goal line for 6 points, or kicking field goals for three points or for one point after a touch down.
The defenses’ mission is to prevent scoring and take the ball away from the offense.
The offense receives a kickoff, runs until tackled, and then negotiates a series of four downs. The short-term mission of the four downs is to advance ten yards, which earns a new first down and four more attempts to advance and score. Resources
Each team fields eleven players, divided into sections of linemen and backfield positions. These resources are deployed into various offensive and defensive formations. Context Impacts Strategy
is a 100 yards long football field, plus ten for each end zone. The contextual variables include if the
stadium is domed or open air
temperature is hot or cold
fans are quiet or loud
sun impedes seeing
wind blows the ball
The mission does not change if any strategy to run or throw fails to score or move the ball ten yards. The players must remain focussed to coordinate and accomplish the mission. If they loose composure and start blaming and bickering they become a distraction to achieving the organizational purpose.
Effective leadership keeps resources focused, to limit distractions to negotiate the context and achieve the mission.
Good organizational citizens engage in the “triple-c synergy” of communication, cooperation and coordination. Getting employees to participate in them consistently requires overcoming barriers identified in The Three-Dimensional Leader: Negotiating Your Mission, Resources and Context. Training employees in the 3-D MRC perspective gives an understanding of the relationship between the three-C’s and fulfillment of organizational strategy.
One-dimensional employees may speak some of the language of the organization’s culture to sound like they are in sync with its mission, vision and values. But they fail to understand “the way” they are to go about their jobs. Their ideas and initiatives are inconsistent with company operations and the way employees are instructed to work.
Two-dimensional employees receive instruction well, and not only speak culture, but also do what is asked of them. They do so, however, with a very narrow perspective of their part of the process. They do not go about their roles and responsibilities in ways that cooperate well with all the other branches, units and departments of the organization.
Three-dimensional employees see their jobs within the context of the organization’s other branches, units and departments. They coordinate well with all the other people’s roles and responsibilities throughout the organization. Three-dimensional employees coordinate, so organizational performance inflates.
Working with a 3-D MRC, triple-C synergy means more work is done right the first time. This requires correcting fewer errors and precludes redo’s. Efficiency increases, as does job satisfaction throughout the organization. Because people are not spending time looking backwards to correct work already done, they have more capacity for creativity and looking to the future to solve issues and meet emerging challenges.
Disseminate The Three-Dimensional Leader and training throughout your organization and put your teams on a triple-C trajectory today.
The Foundations of Organizational & Community Problem Solving
Most problems persists not because more money is needed, but because the people who can solve them need to overcome barriers to achieve the Triple-C Synergy
- cooperation and
Synergy means the output and outcomes from a well-functioning diverse group is greater than the mere mathematical sum of its individual parts. Chapter eight of The Three-Dimensional Leader: Negotiating Your Mission, Resources and Context.
explains the process for achieving the three-C’s so “Great teams obtain synergy from their diversity to effectively negotiate the context” and overcome problems. Diverse groups can make the best teams -- if they obtain the benefit from how each member is wired differently, and thus naturally motivated to achieve things that the other members are not.
Every team, however, experiences challenges initiating, arriving at and maintaining the three-C’s. Getting The Most From Working Relationships
The book and MRC training help participants identify the three major barriers to communication. Overcoming them is foundational for achieving coordinated synergy.
Your team also gains resources to effectively work through the forming, storming and norming process to emerge as a group well focused on a common mission and flowing in the triple-C’s to achieve it. Storming does not have to frustrate and side track your team and derail synergy. Helping Your Team Reach Its Potential
The 3-D MRC value system compels triple-C synergy by equipping people of various psychological perspectives to identify and work through their communication challenges and misunderstandings to collaborate with each other to identify and achieve the mission that matters most in all situations.
A Three-Dimensional MRC focus and initiatives, implemented with triple-C processes, are necessary for organizations and communities to achieve the collaborative synergy
from their diversity that solves problems.
Please feel free to comment and share you thoughts on this issue.
The Vampire Diaries, based on the young-adult book series by L.J. Smith, is about two brothers who approach their situation from two very different perspectives and attitudes. One wants to avoid killing people and the other enjoys it. Both are manipulated by a third vampire, a captivating female, who appears as vulnerable and sympathetic as she is cunning. The trio is a paradigm for what I call the “Vamployees” who disrupt workplace environments.
“Vamployees” are employees who act like one of the three types of vampires described in The Three-Dimensional Leader: Negotiating Your Mission, Resources and Context
. Vamployees corrupt teams and organizational performance, as they over react to stimuli, overstep boundaries, and make bizarre justifications for their behaviors.
The book contains a section called: “Vying with Vampires,” which asks, “What is the difference between
- a real vampire who enjoys being hominus nocturnus;
- a person who is a vampire but is in denial about it; and
- a person who is delusional and thinks he is a vampire but, in fact, is not?”
The section is accompanied by vivid detail explaining the behaviors of these three types of vampires and how they drain synergy from their coworkers, managers, supervisors and organizational processes. The outcomes of their behaviors are explained in a section on “The Four Types of Employees.” A section on “The Role of Supervisors” gives us practical advice, and strategies for dealing with them. Case examples also are included to show the outcomes you can expect from deploying the anecdotes.
Do you have difficult employees whose behaviors are challenging to define? Want solutions to end their masquerade? Do you have the courage to uncloak your vamployees? The Three-Dimensional Leader
will give you tools for “Verifying and Vying with Vampires.”
Does your organization need to change to survive in this challenging economy? To lead needed change you must have the right “motivation, map, and message.
The Right Motivation
The right motivation for a change initiative or mission, means you are focused on arranging operations so employees can better succeed at their jobs to better manufacture products, provide services and/or meet customers’ needs.
The Right Map
You must undertake correct data collection and analysis to know that you have the right map of information to determine down what paths the employees and organization have gone, and what direction must now be taken to bridge the gap between failing performance and mission accomplishment. The goal of your data analysis is to help you define a process map that helps your employees know why it better meets customers’ needs.
When leaders keep changing methods of data analysis and interpretation, employees lack confidence that leaders know what is relevant to organizational success.
The Right Messages
Change must be carried out in appropriate language and terms that the team understands. When a quarterback is traded to a new football team, he cannot expect to call out plays using language from his old team environment. The quarterback has to learn the new team’s offensive system and nomenclature. The right message means that you must present your findings and explain your initiatives in language and terms that are compatible with the organization’s culture. You do not want to sound like an alien who has just landed from another planet by using language that is out of the organization’s cultural context. Addressing employees in terms that show you comprehend and relate to their work culture is essential to earning credibility.
How important do you think the right motivation, map and message are for people to wholeheartedly rally to change?