Jeremy Blain is an award-winning Business Leader, Futurist, New Era Learning Professional, Author & Conference Speaker, and the founder and CEO of Performance Works International (PWI). He has created PWI because he knows that his experience, knowledge and passion can help organizations and individuals face the changing workplace and help them be fit and ready for the future. Recently he released a book called “The Inner CEO – Unleashing Leaders at All Levels”. In this book, Jeremy talks about people who can be the CEOs of their own life and their role within the organization, independently of which level they’re on. 

Jeremy is teaching organizations how to survive in the time of the transformation that we all have to go through. Those transformations existed even before COVID, but the pandemic just made things clearer where the transformations have to happen. 

But the question remains: what goes first – creating the culture to support people on all organizational levels or changing the mindset of the employees so that they can take ownership of their roles?

In Jeremy’s opinion, the first thing is definitely creating the culture. Culture is like soil – when you are a gardener, you don’t start by throwing the plant seeds between the rocks and then start spreading the soil and fertilizer around, hoping something will grow. You first prepare the ground, clear the space, make sure you have all the prerequisites for your plants to grow well. Only then do you plant the seeds. See your employees as those seeds – you can have the best quality seeds of the most beautiful plants in the world, but without the right environment, you will waste them. Everything revolves around adapting the culture and the way that people lead and manage organizations to create a safe space and new environment where people feel safe to step up and be empowered.

The coaching-led leadership comes after creating the culture, and it is about the organization which is focused on growth – the growth of individuals, of teams, of functions that contribute to organizational growth etc. Culture has to come first, because in order for people to use the power given to them there has to be an appropriate environment.When culture is built right, we can finally repurpose management away from what it has become, and bring it back to being part of the art of coaching. It’s important to move away from a more operational approach to management – performance management and supervision, and into being more about how we drive a growth mindset of others through the leaders coaching them. Coaching is important to help people step up and develop the new knowledge, skills, and behaviors needed for their new inner CEO role. This in its turn is going to hugely benefit the organization. The leaders reclaim their most valuable asset – time. Time to think strategically instead of putting off fires, time to lead the growth instead of being operational. It also allows to flatten the organization and help it become more collaborative. Coaching is not only about coaching from the leader, it’s also peer coaching. This peer coaching opens a different perspective on the issues and solutions in organizations and helps workers to find ways of dealing with those that are closer to them.

If you are interested in learning more about why it’s important to first build the organizational structure and then empower people to take the responsibility and whether it is okay to have people on the team who don’t want to take a CEO role, listen to the whole episode here. And to get the hands-on blueprint that Jeremy has developed, grab a copy of his book here.

Stay tuned and be genius!

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