Save the environment? No – I want to change it!

I work with many highly technical professionals who are at the top of their game within their field of expertise. These are brilliant people who have given their all to their work, and succeeded despite the autocratic leadership styles they may have worked under in the early days of their career. 

Autocratic leadership is characterised by:

  • decision making without any input from the team
  • minimal consultation and trust
  • a desire for employee “obedience” 

While this type of leadership thrived in the 1950s, today’s workplaces are (thankfully) much more humane. So it pains me when I see these same professionals using this type of leadership style to try and manage a modern workforce. 

It’s not just that, as a society, we have recognised the psychological stress autocratic leadership can cause. It’s that we’ve proven the high cost of employee turnover and low retention, combined with a lack of results from unhappy employees who would rather be anywhere else but work, simply isn’t worth it. 

We also need to consider that the environment people work in is not the same as it once was. In an increasingly VUCA (volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous) world, we need to embrace a new approach.

I’m not trying to save the environment. I’m trying to change it.

“Culture” is the new buzz word for organisations globally as a catch-all term for the type of environment we want to create in our workplaces. 

These environments are happy and energetic, which ultimately leads to:

  • greater productivity
  • fresh innovation
  • better communication
  • more trust
  • higher retention
  • less sick days

There is plenty of proof that a positive culture leads to higher productivity and a suite of other benefits (including reducing the instance of workplace disputes). 

High performers in globally renowned companies understand this all too well. In fact, 92% of leaders from successful companies believe workplace culture has a high impact on their company’s financial performance or is critical to reaching financial goals.  

Culture also matters a lot to employees. A study by Glassdoor found that 77% of people consider a company’s culture before applying for a job, and more than 50% consider it more important to job satisfaction than salary.  

Unfortunately, a study by Deloitte found that only 28% of executives understand their company’s culture – let alone have the skills or knowledge to change it. 

I believe shifting a company’s culture starts on the inside, within teams. By changing the mindset of leadership and teaching them to “walk the talk”, we can create a ripple effect that ultimately transforms the nature of an entire department. 

Creating a coaching culture

Coaching is not “tree hugging” or an attempt to mollycoddle underperformers. It’s a method of elevating people by teaching them the skills to reach their goals. 

In one instance, a direct report of someone I had coached thanked me for what had unfolded in the workplace after their leader took a KVC course. It wasn’t that the leader was now “nicer” to them, but that they were able to give that person the courage and support needed to achieve tangible results.  

I find that many of my coaching clients genuinely want to help their teams succeed. They want to set the benchmark for a better culture within their organisation – they just need a little help to do it. 

It’s for this reason that I have introduced a brand new workshop titled: Coaching in the Workplace

This workshop is designed to help you create an environment that elevates individual and team performance by integrating coaching approaches and principles into the way you do things.

To learn more about the course or to register your interest, email me at 

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