Fusion Leaders show up every day, driven to flip the percentages and create engaged employees, defying the national norm of some 70% of workers who dread their jobs (as I mentioned in my earlier blog post).
But what is a Fusion Leader?
Simply put, Fusion Leaders are those who place their selfish ego needs and their organization’s collective ego needs on the same level of importance. They are self-aware enough to understand that working for the greater good of an organization (the collective ego) actually benefits them (the selfish ego).
Recognizing that the potential of a committed team vastly exceeds the potential of any single individual, Fusion Leaders obsess over the question of how to earn the following and loyalty of those in their charge? And this desire to earn the following of their teams explains why the Fusion Leader makes it a priority to balance the needs of their selfish ego with those of their organization’s collective ego.
People become demoralized when they conclude that they are showing up on Monday morning in order to enrich and empower the executives.
Sadly, it seems some 70% of America’s leaders think that their mere title and position of power, by itself, is sufficient to earn the following of those in their charge. These leaders think nothing of behaving in ways that signal to their employees that the success of the organization hinges on their brilliance and raw managerial capacity. Think of those organizations that operate under the name of the founder. Think about those organizations where the CEO pays himself or herself two, three or, in some cases, over 10 times more than the others on their team. Think about those meetings where the leader stands in front of the room and dominates the meeting with their charisma and brilliance. While there are successful organizations that operate under this brand of leadership, these leaders run the risk of communicating to their employees that they don’t matter, or worse, that they show up every Monday morning just to enrich the guy or gal whose name is on the top of the building. Talk about deflating!
Like any leader, Fusion Leaders work to advance the Mission of their organization. But how they do this is unique. They seek opportunities to demonstrate that they value the Mission of the organization at an equal level to the value they place on their own self-interests. In effect, they seek to “fuse” their organization together around the Mission. Now that is inspiring!
Fusion Leaders prioritize those behaviors that bring teams together over those behaviors that drive people away. Modeling daily behavior that evidences the Fusion Leader’s prioritization of the Mission fosters trust among a team. Individual team members grow to trust that even the hard decisions are being made in the best interests of the organization.
Once the Fusion Leader earns the loyal following of his or her team, they are in a position to set the performance bar even higher and demand great results. Members of a “fused” team do not want to let each other down and will more readily “step up” to meet the higher expectations of the Fusion Leader.
This process of “fusing” teams together around the Mission, then demanding higher and higher results creates a virtuous, repeating process that builds a culture of “winners”. This, in turn helps employees feel fulfilled by their work and wanting to contribute more to the organization. They’ll actually want to come to work on Monday morning!
I’ll share stories of inspiring Fusion Leaders who have applied these principles in real life because, of course, it’s never quite as easy as 1-2-3. The selfish ego seduces and being a leader can be complicated and messy. But, if you join the Fusion Leadership journey, I am confident you will turn your team into what I call Monday Morning Enthusiasts. Your organization will benefit from your team’s renewed commitment to their work, and you, as their leader, will benefit too.