I used to be a military deputy-commander in a highly-influential command unit. In response to high tension demanding culture, I created an inspirational leadership process that improved significantly our ability to perform effectively under stressful conditions. Our ‘traditional-routine’ for our officers unit, would take us almost 3 days to get into high performance effective mode. At that specific situation, I invented a different process that succeeded to get everyone tuned, and in high quality performance in 3 hours. The differences were in the attitude and communication tools I introduced into our unit.
The steps were:
1) Create partnership through declaration of the mutual successes and mistakes beyond ranks and formal authorities.
2) Ask every member to bring forward honesty and openness to learn from each other mistakes and successes.
3) Define clearly the indications of success of the unit and the individuals.
4) Ask everyone to relate to what is not working in their areas of responsibility and in the coordination with others, starting from the lower ranks to the higher ranks.
5) Ask everyone to come up with suggestions for these issues. Those suggestions had to be practical and easy to apply in short term.
6) Ask everyone to relate to the processes that were working so everyone could learn and apply in all units.
7) Ask for commitment of mutual enrichment through the processes, and define event-line for next enrichments.
For applying such a process, there is a need for short and simple preparations, including the steps that are mentioned above, plus a plan on how to maintain it.
All these processes were used later in all kinds of organizations, and they appeared to be contributing to fast, effective and reliable inspiring leadership and team spirit.
In common organizations, such a process will happen only after significant troubles. The key was to create trusted safe partnership, with simple communication tools. We – the leaders, had the courage to create this different process, as we trusted ourselves and our leadership. We created safety to win with us. It demanded from us to share our mistakes as much as our successes, and thus created the wanted partnership.