Sometimes we think of work as a separate section of our lives, cordoned off by location, hours, job descriptions and roles. As the workplace has evolved, our definitions and expectations are shifting shapes. The formal and somewhat rigid business boundaries that we see depicted in films set in the 1950’s through the 80’s seem antiquated. Here in casual California, the business suit is no longer the requisite attire for men. Changes in our social culture and the positive influence of many, many more women working have contributed to a more holistic workplace. In short, we are becoming more comfortable being our whole selves at work. We can celebrate our personal hobbies and our children’s achievements, acknowledge family responsibilities, personal crises, and health challenges. I, for one, am glad of this evolution to a more authentic world of work where we are not one dimensional. I see evidence that the complex, holistic, yet still intelligent and intensely focused companies often outperform the more formal ones. When people can be more authentic, they bring more of themselves to the workplace, and have more to give.
Food for Thought ~
Leadership in this new era is a far greater challenge than in the hierarchical management era and in the organizations that still follow that model. Those are indeed simpler to manage. The holistic organization with its collection of real, multi-dimensional human beings presents a far more complex set of leadership issues. I believe the rewards are well worth the effort.
Question of the day ~
How would you describe your workplace? Are people able to be authentic and multi-dimensional? What leadership challenges does this present for you?
On a Personal Note ~ In memorium:
My mother, Mildred Smiser Vyverberg, gently passed away on June 11. She was a teacher at two universities, my first and foremost role model, and a peach of a human being. Thanks, Mom.