Article 1. Transcending the Blaming
Many organizations have a blaming culture. A blaming culture is
where blaming is a common occurrence. Blaming behaviors include
pointing the finger, complaining, criticizing, and making excuses.
In a blaming culture time and energy are spent proving someone else
is wrong, proving that one's self is not wrong, evading accountability
and responsibility, avoiding honest communication and accumulating
data for proof of blame or innocence. The tendency to blame stifles
communication. It destroys trust and creates stress. Blaming creates
an environment of fear. As the world renown quality expert, W Edward's
Deming said, we need to drive out all fear for organizations to
work effectively. In order to drive out fear we need to drive out
Blame is an illusion. It is a distortion of reality. Organizational
expert Peter Senge wrote in his landmark book The Fifth Discipline:
"There is no blame." Most problems in organizations are
systemic. They are rooted in processes and systemic structure. Deming
claimed that 94 % of all problems were systemic and he attributed
them to common causes. If most problems are systemic in their origin,
then why do we spend so much time blaming individuals and groups?
First, most of us do not realize how much blaming is going on or
that we are doing it. It becomes a way of life. Try monitoring your
thoughts for an hour at work. How many times do you find yourself
complaining about someone or something, defending your actions,
or noting the faults of others?
The second problem is that we think that whoever is standing closest
to a problem must be to blame for it. We are taken in by the illusion
that there are simple, linear cause and effect relationships. An
example of this kind of thinking comes from a client of mine from
several years ago. A supervisor was upset with his people because
the customer had sent back product that did not meet the customer's
specifications. He blamed his workers.
He was sure the problem was their carelessness and poor work habits.
His solution was to complain and criticize to them. This is a common
occurrence in many organizations. I asked him a few questions:
· Were his people aware of the customer's specifications?
· Did they know how to set up their process in order to meet
those specs? · What were their inspection procedures?
· Were they applied appropriately to this shipment?
· Were all workers clear about their specific jobs and work
· Did all workers have the skills needed to produce the level
of quality required?
· Was the equipment capable of producing the quality needed?
· Was there consistency in how each job was performed?
Most of these questions could not be answered well. There was little
clarity and consistency in this system, so results tended to be
inconsistent. We cannot blame the people who work for us for poor
quality when we have not taken the time to create a structure for
success. The supervisor was accountable for the returned parts and
so was his manager. It became their job to respond (be responsible),
to make appropriate changes that would ensure future shipments would
As leaders we cannot make success happen. What we can do is understand
what needs to happen and remove the barriers to success. We can
look at structure, leadership style, relationships, and our view
of the world and ask ourselves: "Is this working for us or
against us?" I can almost guarantee you that the blaming given
by that supervisor was not working for him. It created resentment
The illusion we create is that somehow blaming and complaining
will make things better. Once we have blamed someone we feel compelled
to "prove" it. We spend time and efforts building a case,
amassing data, and defending our position. On the flip side, if
we are blamed we spend time defending and justifying ourselves.
Imagine an organization full of people blaming, complaining, justifying,
defending, and building cases against others. When would the work
If blaming is so futile, how can we avoid the blame game? Leaders
must make a commitment not to blame or complain. Do your complaining
to a trusted friend who is not your employee. Vent it and get over
it. See problems as challenges to be overcome, not as opportunities
to blame people.
Look at all possible sides of an issue. Ask good questions similar
to ones asked of the supervisor. Be willing to look at yourself
and see how you are contributing to the current situation. How does
your way of being affect others? Have you taken the time to create
positive relationships with the people involved? Are you aware of
their needs, concerns, and issues? Are you responsive to their needs?
Have you helped them to create a structure that helps them succeed?
Have you helped people get clarity on their mission, role, and the
expected standards? Are you walking your talk? Do you give people
honest feedback on their performance? Do you act quickly to correct
problems? Do you listen to the people around you? If you are not
doing these things, what stops you? (And don't blame someone else.)
As a leader, your example teaches others how to act. The leader
who is accountable and takes responsibility teaches her people to
do the same. The leader who blames, undermines her own authority
and teaches people that they are not responsible. When we refuse
to blame and choose to be accountable and responsible, we begin
to discover our power. Focusing on what we can control--- our thoughts,
behaviors, and actions--- makes us powerful. Seeing that small changes
in how we relate to others, what we choose to believe about others,
and opening ourselves to actually hearing what others have to say
can create powerful results.
A leader's ability to make small changes within will influence
those around him. His new way of being becomes a new way of doing.
Others see the results and begin to make their own changes. Every
leader is a teacher. Anyone can make the decision to be accountable
and responsible, to treat others with care and respect, and to communicate
honestly. Waiting for others to change, including those in higher
positions, is an excuse. True leaders are people who initiate new
ways of being. Culture change begins with one leader who has the
will and is willing. Is that person you?
William Frank Diedrich is speaker, executive coach, facilitator,
and author of two books on personal and spiritual growth: The Road
Home: The Journey Beyond the Spiritual Quick Fix and 30 Days To
Prosperity: A Workbook for Well-Being. Bill's third book--Beyond
Blaming: The Way to Personal and Organizational Success, will be
out in February of 2004. To learn more aboput Bill's services go
to http://www.transformativepress.com/ and to purchase books go
Article 2: Beyond Blaming
by William Frank Diedrich
What was your first thought when you woke up this morning? Was
it, "Gee, I hope someone blames me for something?" Or
maybe your first thought was, "I can't wait to be blamed for
whatever is wrong today." If you are like most people you probably
didn't have these thoughts when you first woke up. Almost no one
does. Yet, people so often seem eager to give the gift of blaming.
It is the gift almost everyone wants to give and no one wants to
Blaming is a futile attempt to make our world right. It seldom
works. Often it appears to work, but it has long term ramifications.
If I become adept at pinning the blame on others, I will soon find
my list of enemies growing. When a leader in any organization blames
employees, clients, members, or customers, blaming becomes an accepted
practice. It creates an environment of fear where people are unlikely
to take responsibility for problems. In the end, few problems are
solved and performance is stifled. People who constantly blame lose
the respect of others. Why is it then, that blaming is so common?
First, it can be wonderful to be a victim. I get to be right. I
am misunderstood, mistreated, and miserable, but at least I know
I'm right. I'm in pain, but my pain is at least a little bit satisfying.
The end all and be all for life's perpetual victims is self-righteousness
-- being the one who is right, good, or special. I feel a little
bit powerful riding on the back end of the pointing finger. I feel
clean and in the clear knowing that it's not my fault.
Second, if I'm really suffering you can't expect much from me.
As the suffering one, I should be appreciated, treated special,
or helped. You can't expect me to put out too much energy for others
in this condition. You can't expect me to do much for myself. Again,
I'm in the clear.
Third, it feeds my need for drama. Most dramas have their good
guys and bad guys. Of course, I'm usually the good guy in mine.
I can tell my story with passion about how I have suffered and how
you have caused it. I enjoy telling people how stupid, bad, evil,
idiotic, foolish, inconsiderate, lazy, or incompetent you have been.
In my drama, I get to be the judge of right and wrong.
Most people in the world blame someone or something for their suffering.
The payoff for blaming is self-justification and innocence. This
does not mean that suffering isn't painful. It is. It means that
we will not find release by blaming anything or anyone. Blaming
others for our pain, even if they have had a direct hand in causing
it, is detrimental to our happiness and success. Rather than project
our pain on others, we must follow our pain inward to its source.
The source of emotional pain is always within. In order to find
happiness or success, we must acknowledge that we create our own
experience. Words and actions created by others have no meaning
except the meaning we give them. If someone lies about you, you
can get upset, blame them, and condemn them to being a liar. Does
this help you? Does it help the organization you are both members
of? It is not likely this reaction will help. What if you present
what you have heard to the other person and give him/her a chance
to respond? What if you look at what was said and honestly determine
if there is any truth to it? If there is any truth, you can own
up to it. Who will you be when you talk with this person? Will you
be the accuser? Will you be the self-righteous victim? Or, will
you be a concerned human being who cares both about himself/herself
and the other person?
"Caring" does not mean being nice. It means that you
deal with the issues without ever losing sight of the humanity of
the other person. You seek first to understand their needs and concerns.
"Understanding" is not excusing. You also need to process
your own emotions. In other words, find a way to emotionally let
it go, to forgive. Don't let it become baggage. If appropriate,
tell the other person how you felt. Tell a trusted friend or advisor
how you felt. Unload it and move on. Forgiving a behavior doesn't
mean you excuse it. It means that you remove all emotional attachment
and meaning to what happened. Once you are free of your negative
emotion, you can offer words that will help the other person behave
There is no guarantee, of course, that the other person will respond
to you. However, your ability to respond with compassion and courage
is an invitation for the other person to do the same. Your ability
to be honest and direct will elevate you in the eyes of most people.
As the person who refuses to blame, you will be seen as a true leader.
True leaders don't blame others for problems; they resolve problems.
What about when you are on the receiving end of blame? Don't defend
yourself. Examine the situation and honestly hold yourself accountable.
Be eager to accept responsibility. Responsibility is not blame.
It is the ability to respond. Only say and do that which will help
to resolve the issue. Defensiveness, blaming, and attacks on others
are wasteful and harmful to the organization as a whole.
Perhaps your first words in the morning could be: "Who can
I help today? Who can I serve?" Know that you serve by praising
others, assisting others, giving honest, direct feedback, and refusing
to blame. Your refusal to blame anyone or anything will increase
your effectiveness. It will move you toward your goals more quickly.
Somewhere within you are the keys to personal power and success;
somewhere that is beyond blaming.
Order William Frank Diedrich's books at
Article 3: Holding the Vision
by William Frank Diedrich
Our thoughts and emotions create energy. Our energy flows into
our being and into the world. What we focus on manifests into our
experience. This is the Law of Attraction. Clear vision fueled by
passionate desire will create what we really want.
Thoughts, propelled by emotions, draw to us relationships and experiences
that reinforce those very same thoughts and emotions. If I feel
lonely, I am drawing to myself more experiences of loneliness. If
I feel like a victim, I am drawing to myself more people and situations
that help me to be a victim. If I spend my time thinking and worrying
about what I don't want, then I am creating more of what I don't
want. So, if I don't want to be lonely, it is important for me to
stop thinking about being lonely.
Most of us know what we don't want. We don't want to be poor. We
don't want to be sick. We don't want to be in conflict. It is good
to know what we don't want. The next step is to decide what we do
want. If I want a partner, I need to think about what I want in
a partner and hold that vision. I did that 12 years ago. I wrote
it down and read it every day. I didn't spend any time thinking
about being alone. I didn't worry about finding the right person.
Two months later I met a beautiful woman. On our first date I told
her what I wanted. She told me what she wanted. We have now been
married for over nine years, and we are still creating visions.
Once we have a vision to hold, we must align our energy with it.
If your vision is to be prosperous, how would you walk, talk, and
sit if you were already prosperous? Incorporate the feelings you
want to feel into your body language. Be prosperity and you will
attract prosperity. Be well and you will attract wellness. Be clear
about who you are and what you want, and see yourself with someone
who appreciates who you are. You will attract a like-minded person
When we create a vision for what we want, and focus our energy on
that vision, it becomes reality. This is intentional creation. When
we focus on what we don't want, we unintentionally create what we
don't want. Saying that you want to get over an illness is not enough.
What do you want instead? "I want wellness and vitality. I
want to feel good each day. I want to walk and run and do the things
I love to do," you say. Now that you know what you want, you
can direct your energy toward it. As much as possible, take your
mind off the experience of illness and put it on the experience
of wellness. This can be tough when you are in the middle of a painful
When you are in the midst of the pain, practice the Presence of
Spirit. See Spirit standing with you, beside you, holding you in
It's love. When pain subsides think about feeling well and happy.
Let yourself experience that feeling of wellness. It is the same
with issues of relationship, work, and money. Focus your energy
on what you want. You are the vision holder and the catalyst for
your own transformation. To create and nurture a vision for yourself
is the greatest gift you can give to yourself.
William Frank Diedrich is a professional speaker, consultant, and
author of two books: The Road Home: The Journey Beyond The Spiritual
Quick Fix and 30 Days to Prosperity: A Workbook for Well-Being.
Contact him through his web site at http://www.transformativepress.com/
Order books at http://www.transformative
Article 4: You Are Always
by William Frank Diedrich
You are continuously sending out a signal via your energy field.
When you walk into a room, others can feel you. They feel your mood,
whether it is uplifted or depressed. At a deep level, they feel
who you are being. Are you confident? Are you filled with joy? Are
you suspicious? If they are paying attention, others know who you
are being. Even if they are not paying attention, they feel you.
If you are a person who constantly needs reassurance, others will
experience you as draining their energy. If you are responsive and
expressive, others will feel energized in your presence. We all
affect one another via our energy fields.
Your energy is either loving or fearful. It either affirms and
supports life, or denies it. Every thought contributes to your energy
field. Each thought either lifts up your energy to a higher vibration,
or it takes it down to a lower level. You are continually thinking
into your field. Your unconscious beliefs and assumptions also determine
your field. If you believe you are less valuable than others, then
your thoughts and behaviors will arise out of this belief. You will
then attract to you people, and situations that reflect this belief.
The way you carry yourself; the way you speak; and the actions
you take will reflect your belief in your lack of value. You may
tell yourself that this is your modesty, but that isn't true. To
be truly modest one must feel a sense of personal greatness. Feeling
this greatness, there is no need to prove it or talk about it. Believing
in your own greatness, people and situations are drawn to you which
reflect that greatness within. A sense of greatness attracts people
and situations that reflect that belief. A person who feels a sense
of greatness within never has to prove anything.
The effects of your energy range beyond the vicinity of your physical
location. Every thought/feeling that is positive, loving, or appreciative
not only supports the lives of others, but all life. Your negative
thoughts and feelings affect all life, too. You are the center of
your own energy field which intersects with the fields of others.
All of our energy fields create one big energy field. False modesty
based on a low sense of value has a negative effect on the global
human energy field. In other words, your playing small doesn't help
the world one bit. You loving and appreciating yourself does help
the world. You are an uplifting influence to the whole planet.
Your decision to create prosperity and well-being for yourself
is a decision to create it for everyone. Every thought of well-being
adds to the general well-being of the world. Every thought of good
returns good to you.
While it is true that both loving and non-loving thoughts affect
our lives, the loving thoughts are much more powerful. Your loving
thoughts are like seeds planted in the fields of consciousness.
Both you and others will reap benefits. Your negative thoughts are
like planting weeds that choke your seeds and either slow them or
stop them altogether from growing.
If you want a new house and you envision it, your new house is
on its way to you. If you create worry and fear as to whether you
will ever see the new house, you will slow down it's manifestation
or deny it altogether. If you hate your present house, or resent
the nice house of your neighbor, you are, again, denying for yourself.
The energy you create manifests as your life experience. Key beliefs,
feelings, assumptions, and opinions are called attractors. These
attractors are energy patterns that help to shape your thoughts,
feelings, perceptions, experience, and the actual events of your
life. Many of these energy patterns are unconscious. For example,
let's say that your business is slow. Your automatic response is
that it must be the economy. You feel a sense of inevitability about
the ups and downs of the market. You feel powerless. When people
ask you how things are going, you answer that the business is slow
because of the economy.
In linear fashion you create the equations: slow economy = slow
business; and slow business = low income. A more accurate explanation
would include several interacting patterns. The phenomenon you label
as a slow economy is a catalyst which activates certain attractors
in your consciousness. Your attractors include worry, fear, powerlessness,
and depression. These energy patterns create your experience and
also serve to keep business away.
Your thoughts and feelings contribute to all three phenomena (slow
economy, slow business, low income). There is natural variation
in the market place. When variation is on the low side, people often
attach meaning to it. We begin to fear loss and our fear of loss
is fed by the scarcity mindset of the world. Collective fears held
by society serve as attractors to maintain the slow economy. For
example, fears about the economy cause stock holders to sell. Many
people selling causes the prices to go down. Prices going down leads
to more fear, which causes more people to sell and hold on to their
As you blame the economy for your troubles, you contribute to these
collective energy patterns. Your belief that the economy is keeping
business away or that any external factor is responsible for the
state of your business is akin to you putting a sign on your business
that says, "Please stay away. I don't want your business or
your money." Your energy patterns serve to create the phenomenon
you call "slow business". Your assumption that slow business
means less income is another attractor pattern that serves to create
less income. Collective and individual energy patterns you contribute
to and maintain serve to create your experience.
You cannot change the economy. You cannot make people buy your
products or services. You cannot make money flow to you. You could
try. You could put out lots of effort and try to force things to
happen. It is possible this could help. It may bring you a little
more business and some more money. Would it bring you greater well-being?
Your ability to earn is in your energy field. You are always earning
whether or not you are taking specific actions.
True change comes when you change who you are being. When you are
being a powerful person with an abundance mindset, you begin to
see your current situation differently. You feel prosperous. You
begin to see new ideas previously hidden from your point of view.
You take focused action based on new thoughts and opportunities
that come to you. You begin broadcasting who you are simply by being.
People and situations pick up your broadcast. You attract to you
people and situations that reflect your beingness.
The truth is that you are always earning money. Your Source is
flowing energy through you into the world. Your belief in your Source,
your appreciation for your Source, and your gratitude for the money
or things you desire are attractors that draw what you appreciate
to you. As you focus more on your Source, It delivers. As you focus
more on loving and appreciative thoughts and feelings toward your
business, yourself, and your customers, your love and appreciation
become attractors in your field.
The economy is less important than who you are being. Are you being
someone who thinks customers are his source of good? Are you being
someone who believes that you are powerless in the face of a bad
economy? Are you being someone who is hiding behind a "slow
economy" to avoid
seeing your own sense of scarcity? Or, are you being a powerful
creator of prosperity and well-being? Where is your energy flowing?
If you are focusing on what is wrong, your energy is flowing into
the downward spiral. The downward spiral is a dead end. You convince
yourself of what's wrong and who is to blame and then where are
you? You are no place. Recognize that your Source is unlimited.
Remind yourself that your ability to connect with your Source is
unlimited. Do this and you are in a place of possibility. Do this
and your energy rises higher. You will create new attractors while
dissolving the old ones.
Each time you feel the effects of your negative attractors you
find yourself at a crossroads. In one direction lies scarcity and
sorrow, conflict and fear. In the other direction lies joy and abundance,
peace and self-love. Which do you choose? Each and every thought
takes you in one direction or the other. Your intention can change
the attractors in your field. Your intention to refuse to be a victim
of the economy, to refuse to pretend you are not powerful, will
move you forward. Your intention to be the powerful being you truly
are and to feel it, regardless of your physical conditions, will
have you creating powerful new attractors in your field.
William Frank Diedrich is a speaker, coach, consultant, and author
The Road Home: The Journey Beyond The Spiritual Quick Fix, 30 Days
To Prosperity: A Workbook for Well-Being. This article is excerpted
from 30 Days to Prosperity. Watch for William's new book: Beyond
Blaming: Transforming Individuals and Organizations, to be released
in early 2004. To purchase his books see his web site at http://www.transformative
for speaking and consulting write him at Theroadhome@voyager.net
Article 5: Kick Your But's
by William Frank Diedrich
Most intelligent people are willing to say: "I am responsible.
I am accountable." To say and mean this is the first step.
The second step is to add the word "completely".
"I am completely responsible". This is difficult for most.
When something goes wrong we tend to say: "I am responsible
but..." Our "but's" get in the way of assuming complete
responsibility. Complete responsibility increases your ability to
accomplish goals. Complete responsibility is power. In order to
assume complete responsibility we have to kick our "but's".
We express good intentions and then negate them with "but".
"I want to work well with that employee, but he 's a jerk."
"I want to start my business, but my spouse won't support it."
"I want to help these people, but they are unreasonable."
"I'd like to be more honest, but she won't listen."
"I'd like to do a high quality job, but management keeps getting
in my way."
"I'd get this done on time, but I have too much work to do."
"But" is the great negator. Whatever words you say in
the first part of the sentence are erased by the word "but".
When someone says: "I really want to make this work, but these
people won't cooperate." --"but" negates "really
wanting to make this work." "Those people won't cooperate"
is the main message. You may as well say it's over and it's not
going to happen. You have convinced yourself that the reason it
isn't happening is them. You are abdicating responsibility to them
by inferring that they should change.
When we externalize reasons for something not working, we deceive
ourselves. Our deception is that it's all them. What impact do I
have on this situation? How do I come across to "them"?
Have I considered their needs, concerns, and desires? How might
I see them and this situation differently? When I blame others I
am resistant to their reality. What I resist will persist. Often
the best way to keep something going is to be against it.
In my example, I will become completely responsible when I kick
my "but". I change "but" to "and and "won't
cooperate" to "aren't buying into my plan at this moment".
I really want to make this work, and those people aren't buying
into my plan at this moment." Instead of condemning them for
not agreeing with me, I can be listening to their concerns and reasons.
I can become willing to hear another perspective, and to address
their concerns. I can become willing to make adjustments based on
new data I may not have been aware of previously. Taking into consideration
their needs and concerns, I can present my plan, my adjusted plan,
or a new plan to them. Having been heard by me, they are now more
willing to listen.
To be completely responsible means that I have the ability to respond
to the people and the situation. Responding effectively means caring,
listening, and taking effective action. In responding I see the
needs and concerns of others as valid for them. It is not an issue
whether or not I agree with their needs and concerns. It is not
an issue whether or not I think they should have those needs and
concerns. I cannot influence others from a place of disconnection.
I must connect with them by hearing them, caring about them, and
understanding them. I may or may not be able to give them what they
want. Giving people what they want is always secondary. Giving them
what they need is primary. People need to be heard, to be respected,
to be treated as important, and to be given honest, straight forward
Anger and frustration with the other people is a sign that I am
not taking full responsibility. I am sitting on my "but".
I am blaming them for my inability to move forward. As long as I
am sitting on my "but", I have only two options:
1. Continue to struggle and make little or no progress.
2. Use force to get what I want (This may include punitive action,
threat, intimidation, manipulation, or violence.)
Force always creates counterforce. There will be consequences.
You may feel victorious if others are doing what you think is the
right thing to do. The real victory is when they are doing the right
thing because they choose to do it. This is influence. This is leadership.
This is power through complete responsibility.
The principle of complete responsibility also works in dealing
with situations. Example: "We have a great service to offer,
but a slow economy is costing us sales."
Instead of limiting ourselves by blaming our decrease in sales on
the economy, why not think in terms of possibilities. Why don't
we get off our "but" and look for new, previously not
thought of ways to offer our services?
Kicking our "but" causes us to be more thoughtful, more
creative, and more powerful. To say and mean, regardless of the
situation, "I am completely responsible" makes us possibility
thinkers. Imagine a high level management meeting where leaders
are eagerly assuming responsibility. Problems are noted, and leaders
are motivated to respond, motivated to acknowledge their part in
creating or perpetuating the problem. There are no "but's".
There are no excuses. There is no finger pointing. People are eager
to help each other succeed.
You may read my imagined leadership team and say: "Yeah, right.
I'd love to work in a place like that, but..." If you are thinking
that way, somebody (preferably yourself) needs to kick your "but".
Wherever we work, live or play, we are the creators of whatever
is happening right now. Isn't it time that those of us who call
ourselves leaders got off our "but's" and started leading?
The joy of true success comes to those of us who are interested
in leading a completely responsible life, and who can envision possible
futures. The joy of true success comes to individuals and organizations
who are willing to kick their "but's" and find the greatness
that lies within them.
William Frank Diedrich is a speaker, executive coach, facilitator,
and author of two books on personal and spiritual growth: The
Road Home: The Journey Beyond the Spiritual Quick Fix and 30
Days To Prosperity: A Workbook for Well-Being. Bill's third
book--Beyond Blaming: Transforming Individuals and Organizations,
will be out in March of 2004. He has also written a new e-book -
Creating Your Ideal Relationship.
Article 6: Healing Your Workplace
by William Frank Diedrich
You can heal your workplace. Symptoms of workplaces needing healing
include poor service, unresolved conflict, complaining, blaming
, confusion, defensiveness, excessive stress, hurtful behaviors,
inability to communicate openly and honestly, lack of trust, and
apathy. If your workplace exhibits any of these symptoms you can
help to heal it.
The cause of all of these symptoms is fear. This includes fear
of loss of job, fear of confrontation, fear of being wrong, fear
of being criticized, and fear of losing one's financial security.
Whenever fear drives our behavior we are bound to create unhealthy
conditions. Unfortunately this is the case for many organizations.
There is hope, and that hope lies in you. Your ability to be a leader
can have a healing influence on everyone around you.
In order to heal your organization you must heal yourself. You
do not help people to behave in healthy, functional ways simply
by telling them. You must be a model for what you want. If you want
cooperation, you must be an excellent cooperator. If you want direct,
compassionate communication, you must communicate directly and compassionately.
Face and accept your own tendencies to blame, complain, and feel
like a victim. Make a decision to take responsibility, move out
of the neighborhood of victimhood, and heal these tendencies. As
you heal, you help others to heal.
Your spirituality is key in your ability to heal. It is difficult
to forgive self and others without spiritual help. Ask for help.
Stay connected to your Spiritual Source throughout the day. Take
breaks to check in and ask for help. Recognize your connection to
everyone in your workplace. Healing comes from cultivating connection
with others. Refuse to blame or hold grudges. Through prayer you
can receive help in changing your perceptions of people and situations.
Don't leave your spirituality at the door when you go to work.
In organizational life there is no blame. Most causes of problems
and conflicts come from ways people think. How we think determines
our relationships with each other. How we relate to each other becomes
the structure of the organization. Systems thinking expert Peter
Senge has defined organizational structure as: "Choices made
over time." In other words it is the way things are done. The
tendency in organizations is to blame whoever is standing closest
to the problem. This tendency ignores the effects of systemic structure.
Blaming people prevents us from seeing root causes of problems.
When I receive poor customer service I don't blame the server. I
realize that poor service is a symptom of inadequate structure.
Organizations that offer excellent service have clear expectations,
effective training of employees, and value people. Poor service
is completely unacceptable in excellent service organizations. It
We cannot heal the negative aspects of organizations by attacking
them. We cannot heal "negative" people by criticizing
them. Attack inspires defense. We heal by establishing clarity.
We must ask and answer the tough questions? What is this organization
for? What is our mission? What vision do we aspire to? Who do we
need to be as people in order to achieve this vision and mission?
Are we willing to live our mission and vision right now? Are we
willing to provide the skills, knowledge, and expectations to our
employees needed to create this vision? Since thinking is the root
cause of all problems we must teach ourselves and others how to
think. The person who treats me poorly does not know how to think
in this situation.
A leader teaches people how to think. The leader does this by being
a clear thinker herself. She knows who she is. She knows what she
expects. She can see the capabilities in others. She is willing
to give honest feedback to others. She understands her own emotions
and does not blame others for them. She is unwilling to accept anything
less than the best. She leads from the inside out by living her
values, her vision, and her spirituality. A leader is a vision holder
by being the vision. If the vision is to be a world class organization,
she treats her employees and colleagues as if they are already world
class employees. In this way she helps them to see themselves as
You may think you are not in a position to be this kind of leader.
Whether you are sitting in a corner office, serving a customer directly,
or working on a production line, you have the power to lead. As
a powerful spiritual being you know that you create your own experience
at work. You are drawing to you the level of friendliness, cooperation,
and service you receive. Envision what you really want. Envision
what will be in the highest good for yourself and others. Be what
you want. Decide who you will be at work and be it. Live your vision
of a great organization by playing your role as a leader and team
member. Reinforce what you want by giving people daily positive
feedback for the good they do.
The most difficult thing for most people in the workplace is to
communicate honestly, directly, and compassionately about problems.
The key is in who you are being when you communicate. Your intent
is to be truly helpful. You are not there to fix anyone. You offer
help by understanding the other person and how they see the world.
Offer feedback to others from a place of deep caring and of seeing
As you insist on living a vision beneficial to all, you will impact
the structure of the organization. Your choices will affect the
choices of others. Many will be inspired by your integrity and courage.
Some people may react negatively . You cannot allow their negative
reactions to change who you are. Pray for help. Bless those who
are negative. Take care of yourself by having someone outside the
organization that you can talk to. You are a light and a blessing.
The healing power of one courageous, compassionate leader is incredible.
The great leader and healer your organization needs is here. It's
William Frank Diedrich is an author, speaker, executive coach and
organizational consultant. He is the author of THE ROAD HOME: THE
BEYOND THE SPIRITUAL QUICK FIX and 30 DAYS TO PROSPERITY: A WORKBOOK
FOR WELL-BEING. For speaking, book sales, consulting, or coaching
you may contact him at www.transformativepress.com, Theroadhome@voyager.net
Article 7: Finding and Expressing
by William Frank Diedrich
Each of us has a unique and significant set of traits, abilities,
passions, and skills that we offer to the world. This is our voice.
When we are expressing our voice we feel significant, valuable,
and joyful. We seek and find a sense of meaning in our work and
in our lives when we are operating at this level. When we are expressing
our voice we are in alignment with who we are. I have met many people
in organizations who are doing this. They love their jobs; they
are passionate about what they do; they love making a contribution;
they are constantly learning and growing; and they feel fulfilled
doing their work. When you have an organization where everyone has
found their voice, you have one great choir--harmonious and magnificent.
You have people supporting one another to express greatness.
Recently I read The Eighth Habit, by Stephen Covey. The eighth habit
is: Find your voice and inspire others to find theirs. This book
is a must read for all of you who see yourselves as leaders. Dr.
Covey presents some disturbing statistics that demonstrate that
most of us are not in the choir. He presents the following data
collected in a survey of 23 thousand U.S. people employed in organizations.
·37 % have a clear understanding of what their organization
is trying to achieve.
·20 % are enthusiastic about the organization goals.
·20 % see how their tasks match up with the goals.
·50 % are happy with what they have accomplished by the end
of the week.
·15 % feel their organization enables them to accomplish
·17% see open communication in their workplace.
·10 % believe people are held accountable.
·20 % trust the organization they work for.
Dr. Covey puts it into perspective when he imagines if a soccer
team had these scores:
·Only four of the eleven players would know which goal was
·Only two of the eleven would care.
·Only two would know which position they play.
·Nine of the players would in some way be competing against
their own team.
Covey attributes much of this to the fact that so many people do
not find meaning or joy in their work. The answer, he says, is to
help each person find their voice. I recommend you read the book.
The Eighth Habit, through research and logic, presents a convincing
case that the carrot and stick·method of management is not
effective. It is not effective in our workplaces, nor is it effective
at home or at school. Another recent book, Unconditional Parenting,
by Alfie Kohn, cites numerous research studies that authoritarian
and punitive parenting is ineffective. The results of highly controlling
parenting are children who are either overly compliant, or overly
defiant. It seems that whether we are dealing with children or adults,
the use of rewards and punishments creates more problems than it
solves. The problem is that controlling people doesn't really teach
them. Controlling others doesn? bring forth their best selves. It
doesn? help them find their voice. As a result people are not internally
As I listen to people in various organizations, and as I read the
literature from various fields, this is what I find:
·People don't feel respected. (Kids, too)
·People don't feel valued. (Kids, too)
·People don't feel listened to. (Kids, too)
·Many people feel directionless and powerless. (Kids, too)
·Many people are focused on external factors such as punishments,
rewards, grades, approval, disapproval, criticism, profits, and
social recognition rather than internal factors such as personal
responsibility, compassion for others, the desire to contribute
and serve, and finding/expressing one's voice.
The thought occurs, Somebody should do something. But who is somebody?
Who will lead us? I suggest that it is you. Yes, you the reader
of this newsletter, are the leader we have been waiting for. Yes,
CEOs, presidents, Executive Directors, and managers need to change,
but we are all responsible. We are all responsible for looking within
ourselves and finding meaning, finding our voice. It's time to eliminate
the excuses, to stop blaming management; to stop blaming your parents;
to stop blaming the government and ask the big question: What can
I do? Whatever the situation is, we need to accept that it is what
it is, and now we need to figure out what we can do about it. Blaming
managers, blaming employees, and blaming circumstances are a waste
of valuable energy and serve as excuses for not taking responsibility.
You can find your voice. You can help others to find theirs. You
can realize that a paycheck is a result of doing good work, but
it is not the reason you were hired or the reason you are in business.
You are there to serve. And when you are serving well, you enjoy
your work. And when you serve well, most often you tend to be paid
well. And if your organization doesn't pay you well in spite of
your incredible service, your track record and your positive energy
will get you work somewhere else where you are compensated well.
Or, you can utilize your tremendous skill and service orientation
to create a lucrative sideline business. If your real dream is doing
something else somewhere else, stop waiting, start planning, and
We wait for the right CEO or the right president to come in and
turn this place around and start treating people with respect. The
person who can turn this place around is you. Here is how:
Notice how you feel at work.The thoughts you think and the emotions
you have are what you are giving to employees, managers, customers,
and anyone else you meet. Is what you are thinking and feeling helpful
to them? If not, are you willing to imagine and become a more positive
·Dig deep and find your passion. Don't let anyone talk you
out of it.
·Be honest, and compassionate with everyone, especially your
·Ask your manager, or whoever is above you, how you can help
make the organization stronger--how you can help him/her create
a more successful organization.
·Eliminate " I can't because.." from your vocabulary
and focus your energy on creative ways to get it done anyway. This
means working smarter--not harder.
·Ask your employees and coworkers how you can support them---
and listen to them when they reply.
·Treat each person you meet, whether they are an adult or
a child, as a highly respected being. Do your best to understand
their needs and concerns.
· Focus your day on helping, on listening, and on being present
in the moment.
·Make sure that each word you speak, each action you take,
contribute to the success of the people you are with and to the
overall success of the organization.
That means stop the gossip and stop listening to the gossip. Move
beyond complaining to creative action. With your speech and your
actions you are either building or destroying. Which do you prefer?
·Stop whining! It is unbecoming of you.
·Stop wondering, guessing, and imagining what others think
and ask them.
·Help others find their voice. It is the most rewarding thing
you will ever do.
·Excuses, blaming, and "reasons" are all ways in
which you give away your power. Claim your power by being a possibility
thinker. Look at any situation and ask: What possibilities can I
find or create?
·Refuse to be a victim. Envision what can be and start taking
action toward that vision.
·No one you know needs fixing. They just need to learn who
they are and find the confidence to be who they are. Help them be
In conclusion, Jim Collins in his book, Good to Great, tells us
about the most successful companies and why they are great. His
comprehensive research shows that each and every company (there
were eleven who had achieved greatness) all had what he calls Level
Four of the traits exhibited by Level Five Leaders were:
1. They were humble and did not seek personal glory.
2. They were focused and driven to succeed, not for themselves,
but for their company.
3. They refused to accept mediocrity, and took creative action.
4. They found successors who were as good or better than they were.
These are leaders who have found their voices and helped many others
to find theirs. These are leaders who created organizations that
were not codependent on them, but who were empowered to succeed
on their own.
You are capable of being such a leader if it is your intention.
You are a light. When you bring your greatness forth you give others
permission to be great too. Find your voice and express it. Help
others to find theirs. It is a matter of choice--your choice.
Help your organization or group get focused on the same goal and
develop the ability to get there together.
William Frank Diedrich offers keynotes, workshops, consulting, and
executive coaching to all types of organizations.
Some of his keynotes and workshops include:
The Emotionally Intelligent Leader
Moving Beyond Blaming
The New Leader
Leadership and Diversity