It’s time for an internal reality check. Sit back, clear your mind and ask yourself these questions: What’s my leadership style? How often do I take risks? How do I react to complexity? The truth is your answers to those questions can dictate multiple parts of your business (and you may not ask them enough). Organizational development consultant, Kathrin O’Sullivan, is an expert on work culture, team building and navigating complexity.
“What makes things complex is often people.”
In a recent episode of the Ponderings from the Perch podcast, O’Sullivan discusses the complexities of effecting change through coaching in an organization, and how it can often resemble the efforts of steering a giant boat. As she points out, complexity in business is unavoidable, yet, complexity does not always have to equal chaos and stress. O’Sullivan, through her past work as Google's Leadership Development Manager and current work as an executive leadership consultant and coach, has mastered various techniques for tackling complexity that don't involve a tall glass of whiskey.
“As a leader becomes more mature, and as a leader notices how much they are connected within the company [...], the more the chances are that they will lead not as lone heroes, but really as a collective.”
In order to inspire your team, you first have to know and understand each member. Building trust is a large part of O’Sullivan’s strategy on team building.
“Every single employee owns a piece of the culture”
As the captain of the ship, O’Sullivan explains, it’s our job to help our crew navigate the waters of complexity. She points out that there’s a direct connection between an employee’s happiness and their productivity at work. Since that’s the case, as leaders, shouldn’t we strive to cultivate happiness within our team?
“I feel like there is a lot of richness in helping teams build trust, or helping teams through conflict. And I think what’s even more important is [...] it’s not just about ‘how do we work well as this set team,’ but ‘how can we increase our capabilities, to work really well as a group–’ that’s what I find very interesting.”
O’Sullivan offers a fresh perspective on how individuals and teams relate to their work and how that integral relationship is often the crux of our greatest successes and failures.