Leadership of a Country

Whilst many of us have wrestled and struggled with the intricacies of leading teams through change, there surely can be no greater challenge than to lead a country. Whilst government is generally elected by the people on a mandate usually laid out in an election manifesto, the complexity of turning those visions and commitments into action and delivering them before the electoral cycle starts again has been the Achilles heel of many an elected government.
So refreshing it is to see a different approach being taken by Wales. In April 2016 The Wellbeing Of Future Generations Act 2015 is enacted and I thought it would be useful to look at what this act is designed to do, how it will affect every public body in Wales in the way that they work and how the citizens of Wales will benefit.
Leadership is never easy, it requires many skills and has many attributes, most have been written about by a great number of people, yet it is in the mechanics of organisations, the behaviours, the culture started and maintained by those in it that provide the biggest challenge to change. When we look at leading a country there are so many public services and bodies, partners and stakeholders that make up the infrastructure to a country, to influence and direct cultural change becomes more challenging.

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Could Our Driving Behaviours Reflect Our Values

I was wondering as I drove down the M5 the other day, why there are so many accidents on the roads? This was prompted as I watched a few other motorists complete manoeuvres that seemed, at best, risky and resulted in cars around them having to alter their course or speed in response.
Then I was sat in the hotel the other night reading a newspaper and spotted an article about road traffic accidents in the UK and contributing factors, this report highlighted the increase of accidents related to the use of electronic devices while driving!
My instinct tells me that whilst driving for most people is an unconsciously competent act, the decisions that they are taking whilst behind the wheel, are almost certainly honouring their inner Values, after all; our behaviours always align with the values we hold, whether conscious or more likely, unconscious.

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Your Chapter 9

“Every man is condemned to freedom” Jean-Paul Sartre
This week’s blog is inspired by my friend Grant Soosalu, a very clever chap, who along with Marvin Oka, co-created the innovative field of mBraining. Having used methodologies from NLP (Neuro Linguistic Programming), Cognitive Linguistics and Behavioural Modelling and informed by the latest neuroscientific discoveries; Grant answered his calling, put a pause on his highly successful consultancy business to devote his time unpaid, with the full support of his wife, to ensuring the world heard about mBraining and all the science that is going on as we speak, uncovering even more evidence that supports beliefs and practices dating back thousands of years; that we achieve wisdom through the communication and alignment of our multiple brains.
This is not a blog about mBraining specifically, however if you wish to find out more, please follow the links at the end of the blog, or contact me directly. This is a blog about finding your purpose; it’s a blog about making a difference in the world, about following what you know, for you, to be intrinsically the right thing to do and having the courage to do it.
We have just witnessed an interesting event in UK politics, without wishing to get into politics, I thought it would be a good example to highlight, a case of choosing a Leader. Many employees may believe they don’t choose their leaders. I think this is partially correct; but they do have a choice as to whether they follow the incumbent leader or not! In fact, they may choose another leader elsewhere, something that now the economic landscape may be improving will be born out as people feel more at ease with moving to another organisation.

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Beliefs Underpin Behaviours

Behaviours are visible, the actions we take in support of the things that we believe.
Beliefs have a powerful and direct influence in all that we do, let me give you an example. If you believed that it is solely the council’s responsibility to keep the public park clean and tidy and free from litter, cigarette butts, other rubbish etc. and with the litter bins emptied regularly; you might not be too worried about discarding your half-eaten kebab and polystyrene tray on the ground on your way home from a night out if the bin you just passed was full up! If, however, you believed that we all have a moral duty to look after our environment and that by doing our bit, we maintain and promote public spaces as nice places to go, always clean and tidy and a safe place to take our children; we are more than likely to keep hold of the rest of our unwanted kebab, take it home and place it in our own bin. We might even be compelled to pick up someone else’s dropped litter whilst walking in the park!
A belief is something that we know to be true! The distinction here is we know it to be true at that moment because nothing has yet come along to prove otherwise. An example would be, as children we may have a belief in Father Christmas, we know that to be true, we have evidence, mince pies and a drink are gone on Christmas morning and presents are left as we have been told they would be. Then one day another child from school breaks the news that no, he doesn’t exist, it’s been your parents all along. New information and belief change occurs; we have updated what we know to be true.
If you want to alter another person’s behaviour, then you first have to find out what it is that they believe that underpins the behaviours being demonstrated and then seek to change the belief, the result is that a new and different behaviour is generated.
So is this the reason why most attempts by one person to alter the behaviour of another fail, because they tackle the undesired behaviour, by pointing out it’s wrong, or telling the other person why they shouldn’t be doing it, or maybe what the consequences of the behaviour are to others. The interesting point here is, this only works if the other person goes away after you point out the behaviour is unacceptable to you, thinks about what you have said and decides to agree with you. All that assumes they are prepared to reflect, understand the relationship between beliefs and behaviours, realise that what they had believed was in fact incorrect, and change their belief.
A much more successful way is to find out what it is the person believes to be true in the context and to provide new and compelling evidence to the contrary. The rest, as they say, is history!