World affairs present many opportunities to reflect on the subject of peace. In addition to the larger issues of world peace, I have been thinking about how this applies to the role of leaders. The dictionary offers several definitions of the word peace, and the one that most applies to the workplace is “freedom from quarrels; harmony; concord.” Organizations need a state of equilibrium in order to sustain a high level of performance. There needs to be enough basic trust and good will for people to feel safe and respected. Higher levels of trust provide even better conditions for innovation and achievement. There also needs to be room for disagreements, differences, and openness to new ideas. Conflicting views and interests need to be balanced. Avoiding conflict may result in a lack of accountability or an intolerance for differing viewpoints. Not enough attention to peace may result in undisciplined self-expression, disrespectful behaviors, and unhealthy group dynamics. Neither extreme is good for people or good for business.
Food for Thought ~
I often think of organizations as small villages or communities. Just as in our larger communities, we need leaders to model that optimal balance of working with others amicably, yet openly, building trust through honesty and integrity, and appropriately addressing and resolving conflict. Good leaders have a sixth sense about maintaining harmony in their organizations.
Question of the day ~
What are the best ways to achieve and preserve your company’s optimal state of equilibrium?