When I launched my public relations agency, it was the first time in my life I saw success as an objective, not simply a concept. Since childhood I wanted to do big things, make a difference, and elevate my status in life. However, as we all know, wanting success and having a strategy to get there are two very different things.
Therein lies the dilemma, as they say.
In our single-minded pursuit of success, it isn’t unusual to see one’s personality change in response to our desire to “make it happen”. We tend to become hyper-focused on our careers. It shows itself in subtle ways, perhaps not spending as much time as we should with family and friends, maybe even becoming a little abrupt in our daily exchanges with others. That’s when putting things in perspective can really help.
Once in a while it takes someone who cares for you to show you the importance of not allowing success to change you, especially as you begin to taste its sweet nectar. In my case, I needed a gentle reminder – or really, more of a wake-up call to keep me grounded.
Shortly after I had my first conversation with Jason Miller, founder and CEO of Strategy Advisor Board, he told me something I have never forgotten. “Pay attention to the little details,” he said. “Your business associates, your clients, and your loved ones are part of your success journey, not scenery that’s just passing by.”
Everyday in my interactions with others I silently thank Jason for those words of advice. “Keeping it real” has been a lot easier since that conversation. Speaking of not missing the opportunity to smell the roses, my recent interactions with Michael Sipe have been key to seeing what true caring and compassion look like in a successful entrepreneur’s life. A master at transforming raw career ambition into positive entrepreneurial energy, Michael is COO of the Strategic Advisor Board, a best-selling author, public speaker and the CEO of Sipe Coaching and Consulting. Thanks to Michael’s business philosophy and training videos, I’m a happier, more balanced person, and without doubt, a more effective businessman.
The management techniques Michael has taught me and which underpin his Core Energy Coaching process have been life-changing. They have turned me from someone who has always wanted to be a great leader into a leader who is finding success everyday by empowering those around me. Just as Jason Miller has been a North star in my life, guiding me to ever greater success while remaining humble, grateful, and compassionate, Michael Sipe has given me a “soul compass” to get there with my humility and humanity intact.
Michael Sipe: It All Starts With Soul
It’s one thing to grow your own soul, but it’s an entirely different challenge to grow your company’s soul.
What do I mean by your company’s soul? You’re probably wondering “Do businesses even have a soul?” Well, of course they do. The question is: Is the soul of your enterprise a healthy, supportive, and energetic one which makes your team enthusiastic and empowered? Or is it negative, judgmental, and punitive? You can imagine what the latter type of working environment does to sap the spirit of workers.
The reason I say that organizations have a soul is because one of the definitions of the word “soul” perfectly describes the type of atmosphere I think all entrepreneurs should aim for in shaping their corporate culture. That description of the word soul is this: “emotional or intellectual intensity”. The simple fact is, when it comes to the workplace, good energy is multiplied and the performance of everyone skyrockets. Bad energy achieves exactly the opposite effect.
As a success coach to CEOs, I strongly believe in the capacity of office environments to determine the work ethic, attitude, and emotional balance of the human capital which make up a business. A leader who provides a trusting, stimulating, and highly encouraging atmosphere will turn people of average potential into hard charging, high functioning world shakers. I’ve seen it happen over and over again. That being true, you can imagine what talented, driven, and exceptional people can do in a company with a wonderfully supportive soul. There literally is no limit to what they can accomplish.
Let’s find the true leader within you
Many of my clients come to me asking for help because they feel their businesses are “stuck”. They usually have a great team of carefully chosen and qualified people in place, but they just aren’t firing on all cylinders. Despite paying the employees well, providing performance incentives, and furnishing them with all the amenities necessary to run a productive and profitable business, they tell me that the organization isn’t hitting the mark from a revenue and profitability standpoint.
To diagnose the problem, I review the business model, competitive landscape, and overall health of the industry in which the company operates. If this checkup finds that there is nothing wrong with the fundamentals, I turn to the leadership style and culture of the organization. In a surprisingly high percentage of the time, the problem boils down to the nature of the company’s soul.
In my work as a consultant to business owners, entrepreneurs, and CEOs, I take a different approach than most coaches. Instead of simply giving enthusiastic pep talks and providing the usual employee self-improvement advice, I focus tightly on the leadership. I call myself a Business Vitality Catalyst because my purpose is to serve as a change agent to provoke transformation and turn good intentions into action.
My methodology works wonders because it’s based on proven techniques for remaking groups of employees into energized teams and transforming executives into inspirational leaders. It’s not magic, just common sense. The objective is to help leaders understand that their personal energy directly affects their effectiveness. Then I show them how they can redirect that energy into more elevated forms of mindset and consciousness.
A sound corporate culture is a lot like having a competitive advantage which puts your business on completely different footing than your peer group. Imagine running an enterprise with a 200% to 700% revenue increase per employee because they are truly vested in the company and are enthusiastically accomplishing business goals in a fraction of the time. It’s not only possible, it’s the inevitable outcome of using proven leadership training methods.
Regardless of your age, education, or track record as an entrepreneur, I can empower you to find your innate abilities and untapped potential to be the truly supernatural leader in mind, body, and spirit you are meant to be. The kind of person others naturally gravitate to because you’re a leader who possesses a deep sense of fulfillment and passion for all that they do.
Learn new skills, unlearn bad practices
The inability of employees to perform up to their abilities is typically found in companies which also underperform. Both stem from the same source: broken systems and unfounded practices.
Today, managers are being told they have to “take care” of their employees. They need to train them in procedures, processes, and company culture. They’re charged with hiring new employees, integrating teams, evaluating performance, and even functioning as personnel counselors. Above all, it’s their responsibility to ensure the employees are productive. All of these are reasonable expectations provided the leadership has the necessary tools and processes to carry out these concurrent and intertwined tasks.
Here are some of the challenges my clients point out as we begin our journey to hone their leadership skills and uplift the soul of the organization:
My team members aren’t trainable: More than almost any other complaint, leaders tell me it takes a disproportionate amount of time and effort to train employees professionally and personally. Consequently, the personal training provided is not very in-depth. It’s like putting on a Band-Aid over a large wound. The wound is the workforce’s unfilled desire for purpose.
My employees aren’t productive enough: Improving production rates or increasing revenue can be some reward to the workforce. However, leadership needs to recognize that true fulfillment comes from the employees’ sense of providing value to the company. The more management and employees feel they have value in the company, the more they feel a sense of purpose and fulfillment. They feel that they actually own their part of the company. They become more loyal. More likely to work overtime, more likely to be creative, more likely to offer improvements. They really take off when leadership recognizes their achievements, their contributing performance, and why their work is so valuable.
My team members don’t listen to me: The mindset of an included and valued management team and employees drives the very heart of the company higher and elevates its soul. A company whose CEO leads by example and sets the tone for creating a sense of purpose for each employee has created something that is nothing short of miraculous. The leader has created a form of energy that is uplifting to morale. An individual’s and a company’s energy are best characterized by their emotions, thoughts, and actions.
Be honest with yourself about this issue. If a workforce feels unappreciated, it can have a lower level of emotion, like doubt, worthiness, or fear. The lower frequency emotions lead to thoughts that they don’t fit in or aren’t up to the challenges that management puts on them. These thoughts lead to the actions of inactivity, looking and leaving for other jobs, or not stepping up to take on challenges. In turn, productivity suffers noticeably.
There is a lack of motivation: Are low-energy employees a result of poor morale or the collective mindset of the company? Usually both. When a CEO creates a culture that raises the energy levels of a company, the emotions, thoughts, and actions are more representative of higher energy. The higher frequency energy fosters teams that collaborate, divisions that expect to win, and management that is empathetic to the struggles to meet challenges and other similar results from the elevated energy. The workforce connects deeper and feels more like a part of the organization. The higher the energy, the higher the sense of value and purpose. Strong value and purpose are core to fulfillment and peace. That collective soul feels fulfillment and is more at peace with these elevated energies. Hence, a company with a growing soul is a company that grows with fulfillment and purpose at both the top leadership and throughout the workforce.
You’re rightfully asking, so how exactly do I grow my company’s soul? Here are three foolproof strategies to reshape your culture, and in doing so, develop a team of Trojans ready to take on the world:
1. Start with culture
It is your duty to develop a healthy, positive atmosphere which encourages professional and personal growth throughout all workforce levels.
2. Management must think and act strategically
Start by dividing your executive team into two camps. One should be focused on professional and personal development and the other on project management and team staffing to ensure the right people are in place to meet company production goals and objectives.
3. Nurture your talent
Professional and personal development should work to elevate the overall energy of a company through individual and group training.
Naturally, there’s a great deal more to fine-tuning your business, but these are the basics. Once you’ve laid the foundation, further steps are necessary to keep the process on track and accelerate the practices which support your drive to reach your company’s optimal level of performance. To inspire you to make a commitment here and now to reach your destiny as a great leader I offer these parting thoughts:
Great organizations are built by great people
Above all else, your mission is to bring out the best in your employees! There are examples of how to do that successfully all around you. Learn from experienced corporate, small business, and government leaders how they instill Universal Love, spiritual aspects, and best practices to grow their impact and become consistently profitable.
Focus on the human intangibles
Seek out the best spiritual practice insights you can find to grow profitability. Listen to and tell stories which warm the heart. Obtain spiritual tools to up-skill your natural leadership talents.
Emulate other great leaders
Listen to leaders you respect and who are achieving remarkable things. You will notice that each of them practice being bold about using unconditional love with principle.
Grow your soul
The power of positive thinking is real. It is proven again and again that by creating an aura of positive energy it is possible to manifest growing revenue and engaged employees.
Make it more than just the money
It requires a special perspective to have a laser-like focus on the bottom line of a P&L while also fostering a humanistic culture capable of providing everyone with a sense of fulfillment. Running a business with growing revenue can be very satisfying and is a worthy goal. Most successful companies have a very clear understanding of the KPIs they have to hit and maintain maxImum profitability.
High performing CEOs and executives understandably devote an extensive amount of energy on growing revenue. Yet an over-focus on the bottom line can put an inordinate amount of pressure on leadership and employees. Employees can get burnt out and management can feel overwhelmed trying to meet production goals without a balance that keeps management and employees willingly engaged.
I hope I’ve motivated you to become a change agent in your own world. Not just in your business and in your role as a leader, but in your daily life. Once you’ve experienced the power of creating positive energy and life-affirming compassion for everyone you love, know, and meet, you’ll be amazed at how all that energy comes right back to you.
Life is a journey. And the old maxim that getting there is half the fun is as true as ever. It’s an expression I remember fondly every time a client, fellow CEO, executive, employee, friend, or a family member thanks me for helping them to find and realign their soul.