Why CEOs need ‘love’ for organizations to survive

by Ana Lopez

Opinions of contributing entrepreneurs are their own.

I recently saw Cirque du Soleil’s “Love” in Las Vegas — a show that combines the group’s famed dance and performance athleticism with reinventions of several Beatles hits — and two messages came in that I thought leaders should remember.

The first is the song title, “All You Need Is Love,” and the second is a famous Lennon lyric from “Strawberry Fields Forever,” which reads, “Living is easy with eyes closed.”

Why bring this up?

My job is to work with leaders to develop strategies so they can adapt to the necessary organizational, environmental and societal shifts towards the UN 2030 “Countdown” ecological agenda. Now you may have already switched to “living with your eyes closed” reading that, considering moving to a less confrontational topic instead, but the takeaway messages remain: love, denial, and avoidance.

Simply put, to survive we have to start over

Many people struggle with work. Polycrises, seemingly endless stop-start change, return-to-office fears, inequity, new market forces, impending layoffs, and reliably depressing climate reports have led too many of us to live in “survival mode,” which is not good for business. But in reality, love is all we need if we want to thrive in the world of work. When we “fall in love” with a tangible, aligned company whose mission is connected to our reality, we all come together — and the result feels a lot like, well… love. We commit, we grow, fight for the good and instill the feeling that we can achieve anything, no matter the weather. Add an organizational environment of psychological safetyand you have geometrically enhanced the ability to collaborate and innovate in their very best forms.

Related: 10 billionaires join the fight against climate change

How eyes are opened

My job is to help leaders go from “closed eyes” to “empowered.” Executive coaches like myself (with a career navigating economic shifts since the 1990s) are naturally turning to a tactic to provide leadership “stem cells” (aka a renewed sense of energy) to organizations ready to redefine themselves. to invent.

Companies want to help with that McKinsey, PWC And EY providing data on new economic realities for organizations to adapt and move forward. And at least one aspect of our future is clear: the era of hypergrowth during Covid-19 is over. We are now in an environment where it is vital to create a company that can hold its own in new and more difficult times.

A simple, scalable model: the OGSM

I currently work with Francois (not his real name) – a senior leader in a major global energy company driving innovation amid significant post-pandemic global forces and through a disruptive reorganization. As I learned during my 2022 MIT program, energy is everything, so I knew all too well that his work is important to everyone on Earth. In our discussions, Francois described a former boss as narcissistic and gaslighting – seemingly caught in a loop of creating disharmony in his team and organization. Critically, this boss’s narcissistic behavior loop actually laid the groundwork world back.

Then came a restructuring, including more internal staff mobility. Francois is now with a new team using the OGSM (for “Objectives, Goals, Strategies and Measures”) frame to take critical strategic steps so that the reshaped organization can deliver results across various horizontal sectors.

With this new role, Francois feels at home. He feels “love”, is happy to contribute and is in a psychologically safe environment that promotes competitive and market leading schemes. It now feels completely authentic to him to be in a “quadruple espresso mode” of future-proofing – both for his global organization and his customers. Be free to interact with”radical candorand strategic rigor enable him to do what he’s always wanted: to make a difference.

Related: Is ‘Green Hydrogen’ the Future? This Minnesota Gas Utility thinks so.

How the model works

Simple and scalable, the OGSM model is essentially a reminder for an entire organization to rally behind the CEO. Major components include:

• Goals of the CEO

• Goals of the executive leadership team

• Strategies of that same executive leadership team, alongside directors and managers

It is vital to keep in mind that OGSM actions need to be interrelated, with each part fitting into the other so that an organization can move forward as one. The “O” (Objective) must also be announced by the CEO so that each C leader is responsible for driving this mandate. This “O” runs right through every goal, strategy, and measurable outcome.

How can leaders reboot their style?

Leaders make one leadership style choice every day, and their behavior indicates their style. The narcissistic leader defends outdated processes, systems, products, and methodologies to stay in paid employment, and their teams often feel disrespected and confused about the company’s direction. Authoritative, servant, transactional, and empathetic leaders prefer to grow and identify key objectives to be successful while socializing them at a rapid pace and radically transforming their organization for the environment in which it operates. The problem is, with so many conflicting goals in an era of perpetual crisis, it’s time for leaders to go back to basics – and this is not a job to be mocked.

Since my career at Sony’s PlayStation division in the 1990s, I’ve noticed that the most successful leaders have a sense of urgency to adapt to a new environment. They provide evidence that their goals will be correct for years to come and demonstrate that they are aligned with the CEO’s primary objective. Such a person drives change and will interact with any corporate group to evangelize and socialize – making sure people understand tasks as well as focus.

Related: Smart tips for setting and actually achieving your business goals

The OGSM cycle is a wonderfully simple yet extremely effective approach, with the result that everyone is aligned to get an organization on the right track.

Main facets:

• Understand the CEO’s main goal

• Creating strategies that align with (or go beyond) that objective to achieve long-term competitive advantage and sustainability

• Be very transparent about targets and how they can be measured each quarter

• Evaluate every 30 days with a coach and C-leader to see if they need to be adjusted

• Reporting market forces that affect an organization’s “big O”.

• Repeat the steps above after introducing each major new idea and/or piece of data

• Support other colleagues in understanding the main goal, and a willingness to debate fearlessly to avoid defensive and derailing thoughts and behaviors (beware of people defending old beliefs that are no longer relevant to the CEO’s goal)

Get your mission now, start loving your job again and do it with your eyes wide open!

Keep in mind that common OGSM side effects can include: an engaged, motivated and loyal workforce; an increase in customer sentiment; a renewed sense of purpose; a feeling of happiness (even love); and save the planet.

Related: 7 tips to love your career and work with passion

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