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Successfully Navigating Cultural Shifts

"The greatest danger in times of turbulence is not the turbulence; it is to act with yesterday's logic."
— Peter Drucker

Cultural shifts emerge from a process initiated by normal generational changes as new views and values begin to differ from those usually held by the previous generation.

The emergence of new ways of thinking naturally gives way to new ways of doing things. The emerging "new norms" will naturally confront and differ from previously held beliefs and practices.

These cultural paradigmatic shifts often signal the dawning of a new era. The challenges they present are felt more substantial by the previous generation. Some will be quicker than others to embrace these new ways of thinking, while others will gravitate to the familiar, believing them to be better.

"Purpose is not an add-on; it's not an initiative. It is a culture change, and it never finishes."
Richard Branson

There are significant changes in cultural values currently taking place in our society. With the rise of new generations, nations will always experience change. Within our country, a cultural revolution is taking place before our very eyes: shifting values and viewpoints, new laws are being passed, and old ones are reassessed.

I believe most leaders recognize the cultural shifts currently taking place and understand the necessity of resulting transformational outcomes. History teaches us to accept regular cultural changes and to adjust to their transformational impacts on business and best practices.

Emotional Intelligence Required

"Continued societal transformation always begins with present awareness."

It takes more than talent to navigate cultural shifts successfully. Emotional Intelligence is an invaluable asset to leaders navigating changes in cultures; it,

  • Enables them to process emotional impacts, misconceptions, and unmet expectations.

  • Provides clarity for healthy perceptions of current events and possible responses to them.

  • Enhances focused attention on the issues that may impact organizational objectives.

  • Guides leveraging the gifts and talents of team members to meet the challenges.

Connecting With Cultural Shifts

John Maxwell writes about connectors who are invaluable during cultural shifts, more so during intergenerational transitions.

"Connectors connect on common ground. All positive relationships are built on common interests and values. They're founded upon agreement, not disagreement. Connectors do the difficult work of keeping It simple.

Life's issues can be maddeningly complex, and a leader's job is to bring simplicity and clarity to them. Connectors create an experience everyone enjoys. How you communicate often carries more weight than what you say." (1)

In Closing,

William Pollard aptly comments, "Learning and innovation go hand in hand. The arrogance of success is to think that what you did yesterday will be sufficient for tomorrow."

Emotionally intelligent leaders are aware of their impact on others; this allows them to connect with and successfully mentor younger emerging leaders. Their sensitivity and connectivity enable them to positively influence their team's collective cognitive functions, decision-making, and overall performance. (2)

End Notes

(1) "Everyone Communicates Few Connect" by John C. Maxwell

(2) IQ + EQ x GQ (The Generational Quotient) by John S Picarello

*** This article was authored by John Picarello, Chief Leadership Officer at Lions Pride Leadership Co. ***

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