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🖼 How You Create Your Reality

Unfortunately, at the moment we see once again a vivid (and very sad) example of how a leader can get "his" people behind him to carry out certain actions.

Of course, I mean - you guessed it - the example of Putin and the Russian war of aggression on Ukraine. The aim of this article is not to take a political stand (although I do, of course), but to point out the mechanisms that have their effect here in the negative, but which - and this is the crucial lesson - can also be used for good.

What actually happened in Putin's Russia?

Essentially, there are three crucial elements that come together to send people to war and death with their consent (I then explain how you can use these correlations in the positive sense for your team or company):

  1. Consistent Story. For decades, the same version of the story has been and continues to be told and taught in schools: Russia is constantly threatened by other powers and must defend itself for "what is rightfully ours".
  2. Identity. Identity is derived from this story: we are victims and must assert our "right," even with violence and lies.
  3. Convergence. Other, critical voices with other versions of "reality" are systematically eliminated step by step, so that there is only the one version left.

If you consistently implement these three levers over years and decades, you can get people influenced in such a way to do almost anything. Unfortunately, this is happening in today's Russia not for the first time in recent history, as we all know - sometimes with even worse consequences (Hitler), sometimes with not quite as bad (Trump).

Here comes the crucial point for us in business: you can use these same principles, in sometimes opposite ways, for good, to make positive things happen in your sphere of influence.

Here are three steps I recommend for any positive change (which are often ignored):

  1. Create clarity about your team or company's story and identity.

    What is the "narrative" of your team or company? What do you stand for? What are you against? And why? What would you want to teach school children about your company?

    The identity of your team or company is derived from this story. Are you a "world changer" or a "preservationist"? Are you "brash" or "deliberative"? Are you "performance-oriented" or more "tolerant"?

    These are just examples. You can find hundreds of such identity attributes derived from your story. This then determines the standards according to which people in your team or company behave - often unconsciously.

  2. Promote discussions.

    Here is the crucial difference to the hook described at the beginning: In order to make the identity sustainable without the threat of violence, you need to promote as many and open discussions about it as possible.

    After all, you don't want a "leader" at the top whom everyone else follows; instead, you want a high level of personal responsibility among all team members. This makes you much more agile and, above all, anti-fragile.

    Tip: Create forums of all forms to involve your people. And lead the way as a leader with openness.

  3. Manifest with actions.

    It is now important that you continuously fill the identity and the standards with actions and thereby make them tangible. The key word is: "consistency".

    For example, if you want to "change the world" (identity), then your decisions must also reflect that, i.e., you must take deliberate risks.

    This point of consistent decisions and actions is extremely important. If people perceive inconsistencies here (often unconsciously), it creates uncertainty and limits your ability to make a meaningful difference.

So, here are the three steps you can take as a leader to further increase your positive influence - and do more good in the world.

➡️ If you want to work on this with your team, just get in touch for a quick chat about it. Then we'll take it from there.

 

➡️ Next steps:

When you're ready, check out my ➔ coaching programs and set up ➔ a 15min appointment here to get to know each other.

 

 

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