In this episode, Heather speaks with U.J. Jatar about his leadership style, the unique background that contributed to his leadership focus, challenges in leadership and a refreshed vision of human potential.
- Our people have more potential than we give them credit for.
- Human ingenuity is unlimited and leaders can unleash it.
- We just need one person to believe in us.
- Bring a vision forward that everyone believes in and accomplish more together.
- Self care helps us be better leaders.
This was a revealing episode and illustrates that even the most emotionally intelligent leaders fail to do everything right in the leadership space. It is a journey and may never be a destination. Enjoy listening!
U.J. is a passionate believer in the power of human ingenuity to transform the world. He developed the Blue Earth model of Transcendent Innovation and Branding based on his experience of seeing “ordinary” people achieve “impossible” outcomes when inspired and empowered, even in highly resource-starved environments. U.J.’s main role at Blue Earth is to help teams remove mental barriers, craft breakthrough innovation, and develop scalable brands and business models.
Stagnant Corporate America
The people that I have seen inside corporate America are treated as if they were employees or machines that have to deliver certain orders or certain outcomes, but won’t be expected to come out with anything breakthrough or transformative inside that. So, many people are actually saying, “Oh, our company is not very innovative,” or “Our people are not very entrepreneurial. They are not risk takers.” I found that to be not true.
Companies and organizations do what they are designed to do exactly, which is suppress the creativity and ability of their people and therefore, not achieve the kind of outcomes they would like.
We think that corporate America is stagnating. Most of its growth is coming from price increases, cost cutting, or mergers and acquisitions. None of which are really sustainable, and the consequence of that is they don’t have organic growth. They cannot afford to increase their practices around sustainability. They keep having to lay off people. Employee engagement is low. Management turnover is incredibly high. The trust in corporate America is declining. But it all comes down to not being able to really shift from this industrial revolution mentality of people as machines, and move towards people as creatives.
Just One PersonPeople have far more potential than they are given credit for. #leadershipwithheart Click To Tweet
I’ll be honest. It’s pretty hard to maintain high grades when you’re being yanked from school to school, when the education system is pretty different in the different parts of the country. Consequently, I wouldn’t say that anyone who knew me when I was sixteen would have said that I would be successful in anything that was intellectual.
But I did have one person that believed in me, my uncle, and that is probably enough.
They say that as long as there’s one human being other than yourself that believes in you, that maybe enough for you to be able to achieve your potential. And through a series of serendipitous outcomes, I got an opportunity to actually work hard and get good grades in college, did an MBA and worked for companies.
But I remembered distinctly feeling a sense of hopelessness when you were surrounded by people who thought you are never going to amount to anything. Then realizing that even someone like that, given the right opportunity and the right circumstances can flourish.
Becoming A Better Leader
We can influence the world. We can come up with very creative outcomes and solutions to really deep problems. #leadershipwithheart Click To Tweet
One of the things that you are responsible for as a leader, is if you want people to be competent at something, you have got to find the right people that actually like doing that work, or cut out to doing that work. And then develop them and train them to do that job right. Because as a leader, you cannot take for granted that your folks are going to be competent at something that you didn’t take any effort to make or help them get there.
I’d say that that part of me is not easy to remove, because it has become an instinct, especially when you learned it young.
Our education system, our system of governance and big companies tend to diminish our full potential, value and our self-confidence, our sense of agency that we can make change happen. #leadershipwithheart Click To TweetNot all people are geared to work on all jobs in all types of environment. #leadershipwithheart Click To Tweet
Part of my effort to be a better leader is also to take better care of myself. That is the second major epiphany that I had. I feel lucky that I have these really thoughtful people that exposed me to these ideas. It is not easy to adopt these new paradigms that can come your way, and you have got to become so conscious of where am I operating from now, and how am I reacting to my circumstances. But it is a journey and I have no idea what more mind-boggling paradigms I’m going to come across in the future.
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