Whilst gradually moving the organizations I’m involved with towards ‘self management’ (to liberate their full natural potential) I encountered a number of personal issues. These may be worth sharing as my success / failure as a (former) director to understand and cope with these issues greatly influenced the pace and success of the transition of the organization as a whole.
Below you can read about some of the major changes and the related challenges I personally experienced during this process. Day to day changes:
- Initiatives and decisions I used to take are now somebody elses responsabilty
- My role is ‘reduced’ to facilitating the transition process and some coaching
- Personal ‘inhoudelijke’ input significantly decreased and focused around the purpose of the organization
- I am gradually less busy and even have (official work)time to spare
1. These developments raised doubts about my personal value added as I felt this was rapidly decreasing or at least changing into far less tangible/visible/measurable output. It did also raise some ‘intigrity’ questions as my compensation package (apart from a more discretionary bonus structure) remained unchanged during this period.
2. It did also raise a feeling of guilt as I spent some of the time becoming available to me ‘outside’ the organization. Although this was mostly related to strengthening the knowledge and personal experience I needed to succesfully move through this transition. This included some trial and error (as there is no ‘school’ for this) making sometimes difficult to explain to critical / accountable minds why certain steps where really necessary (such as a conflict resolution course and spending 2×10 days in silence and (mostly) in meditation pose: see Vipassana).
3. Another doubt was if (also the less involved and/or skeptical) stakeholders (such as other directors or shareholders) understood that I was still fully comitted to the ‘common’ purpose. Some of the remaks and/or looks sometimes made me sure they didn’t (although that might in part also have been my own perception).
4. Another main challenge was that this transition also required consistent new behavior from myself. Which, being a former super control freak (trying to keep non stop track of everybody and everything), was not always easy. Problem here is that even after a longer period of ‘good’ behavior a small relaps into old behavior sometimes meant that the environment doubted my intentions: You see, its just a new, more subtle, style of control management. Going through similar transition in my ‘personal’ life told me that my kids needed a number of years (equal to the number of years they experienced old behavior) before they fully trusted my intentions even after one of the unavoidable relapses.
5. A final challenge for now is that I sometimes also doudted myself (and sometimes still do): Am I not just trying to stay different and interesting? Or to go back to my carefully hidden lazy self by simply delegating to others? Am I indeed willing to go all the way or will I withdraw when the going gets really though?