Rosana Nedelciu

Dezvoltare personală și profesională, cu cap și cu drag 'Smart with Heart' personal&professional development

Leadership In Class vs Leadership In Real Life

No doubt that this movement of positive thinking has impacted us all, and in the area of personal development it has become a hip trend. But where lies the demarcation line between the classroom “case studies” and the teachings of real life? And when does positive thinking start to sound more than a brainwash?

Because, sure, it sounds empowering. We read the book, hear the speaker and, before we realize it, we‘re so enthusiastic! It all sounds perfectly sensible and so so easy, especially when were offered lessons on “how to” or tips about the 7 habits of successful managers or the 10 things happy people have in common. Eureka, the secret is out! We feel so happy and lucky that we’ve been given the opportunity to access some secrets of those who already have what we want. We feel like we’ve already made the first step towards where we want to get. We feel powerful. We feel positive.

But then we finish the book and the seminar ends. Shortly after, the magic disappears and we return to our “mortal lives”, where, in spite of all our best efforts into believing in ourselves and applying the tips&tricks, the world around us seems to function on principles contradictory to what we’ve learned. The world around us doesn’t seem to be in tune with our new inner music. Over and over again.

Why? Why, when we think positive and we’re positive and nice even to the colleagues we don’t particularly like because repeatedly we have to work twice as hard to redo the projects they mess up? Of course, we never hear a “thank you” from them or “well done” from our boss. Instead, repeatedly, we are reminded that we have to help them and redo the projects as many times as needed (as many times as they mess up), as this makes us team player(“oh, how comforting!” … no wonder everybody hates the term…) and is the only attitude we’re expected to have – as any other wouldn’t be tolerated.

Why? Why, when we’re positive and we believe in and we’re nice even to the boss who just adores telling us about the most recent very expensive leadership development program (s)hes attended. You know, the one that has truly positively impacted his/her life, broadened his horizon and made him a real “certified & all” coach, empowering and giving him the tools to change others as wellBut for whom, paradoxically, we, the supposed direct beneficiaries of the program, remain only an extension to a Job Description with focus on “performs any other duties as given by the direct manager”?

The nicer and the more positive we are, the more arrogant our colleagues seem to become, the more demanding and “superiorly dissatisfied” our boss.

And as if this wasn’t enough, accidentally or not, we read the last issue of the main local or national business-related magazine. And we’re surprised to find an article on leadership and people development where the CEO of the company we work in is given as an example. We read it and let ourselves be amazed because The Leader so portrayed in the magazine has nothing in common with The Person who we see almost every day and who doesn’t even bother to say “Good morning” when he enters the open space we work in, passing us by on the way to his office. Or the same person who only approves team buildingand bonuses for the sales department, while we, as staff members, find what nobody has ever informed us at the hiring interview: apparently, we are second-hand employees.

Is it our fault these things still happen in real life, despite our efforts and our following the tips & tricks given in training? And /Or are we gullible for still seeing these “minor elements”?

Are we incapable of transforming our lives – as opposed to thousands and thousands of people who have supposedly done so? Because that’s what we hear: Many people have changed their lives after following the X program, and so will you! (and if you don’t, it’s your fault; you’re not doing something right ‘cos my program is the best!)

Or has this positive thinking movement become a money making industry that has little to do with reality? Could positive thinking (and positive attitude) be the new opiate for masses so we won’t see the real thing and tell it how it is?

Are we supposed to feel quilt every time we see the dirt swept under the carpet? Are we supposed to feel bad because we are not blind believers? Because we don’t trust the Universe to resonate with our positivity and optimism as it seems to sarcastically do through the incompetence and arrogance of the boss and those colleagues?

Or is this the first sign that we’ve embarked on the right journey? Is NO (and its variations: Stop, That’s it, No more, Enough etc.) the first word we must understand, learn and use, quilt free, on our way to a truly positive life? A life that becomes positive simply because we learn that we matter.

And we start to act on it.

(foto: Calul troian, Georgeta Năpăruș)

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