John Usher on Choices for Leaders™
A group is defined as a collection of people united by a common cause. I worked with a group of people at Safarmex, a Pharmaceutical company. This wonderful group of people, that are passionate about healthcare in Mpumalanga, manage the Governments Pharmaceutical Depot in the province. The level of commitment and dedication amongst the employees is unrivalled considering the unstable nature of the environment in which they work. A month to month contract has not lessened any of their efforts in providing a service of quality.
I was introduced to Angela James, CEO of Align-ED, through my Project Leader. Angela proposed that the leaders of the organisation tell their story of where the company had come from, and encourage the management group to tell a story of where they felt the organisation was going. Involved in training for 25 years, I am familiar with the culture of storytelling amongst many culture groups of the world. Values, beliefs, culture and tradition are carried through the stories to the next generation. This method is not in a rigid structure enforcing teachings, but a dynamic model that encourages engagement, interpretation and continuity. Personally I was keen to explore the possibilities, but I failed to realise the power of storytelling in the corporate world.
The group of managers arrived on course after a difficult week, reluctant and frustrated. Angela’s mettle would be tested I thought to myself. Her preparation leading up to the course was intense and thorough. Angela’s approach was relaxed, welcoming and she had aligned herself to the values and current mindset of the individuals sitting in front of her. With authenticity, intelligence and adaptability, Angela guided and prompted they groups learning, like a beautifully timed dance. The walls of ego, resistance and defiance amongst the group melted away.
A team is defined as a group of people united by a common cause working together to achieve a specific result. Angela’s exchange with the group of managers from Safarmex took from them the things that limited their potential, replacing it with information and tools to unite a team. Each person on the course stepped into the role of personal leadership. Each person clicked into the role at their own time, in their own way. By the end of the course the group transformed into a team that is informed, focused and equipped to successfully move the company into the future. What a transformation!
Personally, I found and connected to my authentic self, allowing me to easily walk in my personal purpose. I have recognised and committed to embracing the greatness within me. Through the course I found my role as an individual and understood how that role contributes to the team dynamics. I witnessed the transformation in my team members and I am proud to be a contributing part. I am most proud of clicking into a owning the space as a leader myself.
The power of Align-ED and Angela James’ contribution to my life didn’t stop with the course conclusion. It continues every day with the simple and “oh-so-effective” tools and principles she equipped me with for the future. The course Angela shared with us is one of the exceptional few that are void of co-dependence, promoting personal engagement and inter-dependence. This course was clever, sensitive and authentic – A MUST for any group brought together by a common cause that want to work towards a common solution! I encourage you, take the step to transform your group to a team! Be prepared to grow from a manager to a leader! I can recommend this course to you for two reasons; firstly it will engage your team in owning the vision. Secondly; you will be empowered as an individual. It was a 10 star course in a 5 star world! Thanks Angela.
John Usher – Training Manager