Solution-Recognition for Enlightened Leaders

Abre los ojos, los oidos, la mente, y el corazon.

Abre los ojos, los oidos, la mente, y el corazon.

Vitalia Consulting (VC) is not a conventional management consulting firm, and we don’t intend to become one. Our client-consultant role is to inspire forward-thinking solutions and actions. “Solution-Recognition” is an important tool in the process of searching for (and finding) the best innovative ideas.

“We need more ideas” is a phrase we hear almost every day.  Innovation isn’t constrained by the absence of ideas, but the inability to notice the good-to-great ideas right in front of you. It’s not an idea problem; it’s a Solution-Recognition dilemma.

Ideas are free. So, why not take advantage of such a great value? Whatever happened to “Brain-Storming” where no idea was pre-judged as a bad idea, no matter how absurd the idea initially appeared to be? While Brain-storming has morphed into Ideation, White-boarding, Iterative Process, Blue Sky Thinking, etc., it’s rarely used the way it was originally intended. “Thinking Outside the Box” has been so overused and abused, it’s become a gag in bad commercials.

Once upon a time (1984-1987) while working with Vici Associates International (based in Milan, Italy) we used the creative-strategic process “ProThink” to stimulate innovative and pragmatic solutions for our client-companies. Guess What? The concept still works! Unfortunately, most companies (then and now) fail to consistently capitalize on Solution-Recognition, and make it an integral part of organizational culture. In my experience, it requires not only a mind-shift but also (and more importantly) a behavioral, cultural transformation.

In the digital speed of social media: Golden Opportunities are lost amidst the chatter. Great moments of brilliance never return to our work/lives.

People tend to think of creativity as flashes of light from the heavens, anointing the next demi-god of genius. In business world reality, new insights and ideas come from hard work. While analytic data can identify real opportunities, these insights must then be transformed into practical, viable ideas. Cogito Ergo Zoom (I Think. Therefore, I go fast.) is the wrong-headed mentality for Solution-Recognition to work.

Solution-Recognition requires:

  • An Open Mind
  • Genuine Listening Skills
  • Passionate Intelligence (Intelligence that can actually be Applied)
  • The Ability to Dream with “Eyes Wide Open”
  • Being Empathic
  • Emotional Intelligence (High EQ)

Research has found that those managers/leaders exposed to a small amount of uncertainty said they value creativity, but actually tended to favor practical word pairings over creative word pairings. If such a negative bias against creativity exists in times of uncertainty, it might explain why so many notable innovations (in business history) were initially rejected. Is this happening in your business?

The implications are particularly relevant now, as few leaders/managers would claim that they’re not working in an uncertain industry. The same uncertainty that propels the need for companies to innovate may also be compelling leaders/managers to reject discoveries that could help them gain a competitive edge.

The innovative ideas that would keep your company alive (and sustain growth) are being killed in the embryonic stage of development, or even at conception.

One possible solution to this “idea killing” is to change the structural system ideas must move through for acceptance and execution. Instead of using the traditional hierarchy to find and approve ideas, this process could be spread across the whole organization. Given a higher priority than immediate revenue, the idea market can create an organizational culture where new ideas are recognized and approved throughout the entire company, a democratization of recognition. What do You Think?

Solution-Recognition becomes an organizational “way of life” based on the assumption that everyone is capable of producing great ideas.

Example: We have a new client (based here in California) who recruited a highly-skilled, experienced Sales Team without building the right organizational infrastructure to support that Sales Team, without professionally mature Sales Management to properly lead and coach that Sales Team, without developing the software tools for that Sales Team to close more deals and succeed, resulting in an under-performing, disillusioned, demotivated Sales Team in complete disarray.

In essence, without Solution-Recognition, “putting the cart before the horse.” Your Management/Leadership habits become either an albatross or a catalyst for growth. The problem lies in Management/Leadership failure to (adapt and change) genuinely listen to the concerns, problems, situations the Sales Team is facing in the field. Genuinely listening to the Sales Team would engender coaching opportunities, and collaborative solutions for the true underlying problems.



Enlightened Management/Leadership embraces Solution-Recognition. Remember, You are defined by what You do.



Example: Enlightened Leaders get out of the office more often. These “empathic outings” are purposeful field trips, a way to effectively connect with employees, customers, vendors, alliance partners, and others key to the success of your business. This also makes an enormous difference in gaining commitment to shifts in business and organizational behavior, and solving related issues. The purpose of these meetings is not just for gathering information, but more crucially to discover, uncover crucial patterns of what’s working and not working in your business, misalignments in your business and organizational vision/strategies.

Example: We use Solution-Recognition in our most productive client-projects:

  1. Business Turnaround Projects
  2. Business Growth Projects
  3. New Business Ventures ~ Entrepreneurial Start-Up Projects

The Message: Reject Solution-Recognition at your peril, and suffer the grapes of wrath. Vitalia Consulting (VC) is not a conventional management consulting firm, and we don’t intend to become one. Our client-consultant role is to inspire forward-thinking solutions and actions. Solution-Recognition is an essential tool for every successful business.

Partner with Us. Let’s start with a conversation. 

  • Marc Ortiz de Candia
  • Executive Partner ~ Provocateur
  • Vitalia Consulting | The Enlightened Leadership Leader

Tango Lessons ~ Building and Sustaining Relationships

No matter how great a visionary leader you may be, you will always need others to fully execute your vision, your dream. It’s a fundamental axiom of business and of life. It takes 2:2 Tango (at least two) and it is a beautiful, intricate, intimate, and powerful dance.dreamstime_m_145488591.jpg

Here are a few free Tango Lessons.

One of the reasons we work in multi-disciplinary teams at Vitalia Consulting is because there is power in numbers and in diverse expertise. No Vitalia consultant, coach, facilitator, advisor or analyst, client services associate is ever left alone to deliver the message, ask the hard questions, or answer the hard questions. The lone exception are Executive Coaching Sessions which are strictly one-on-one private sessions.

As we work with our clients to solve complex business and organizational problems, a team of diverse minds (working together) discovers, uncovers the best solutions.  Partner with Us!

The power of multi-disciplinary teams is proven, especially when working with executive leaders and groups of professionals because no individual (regardless of status, charisma, influence, aura, or personal presence) resonates with everyone.

While building and sustaining relationships is key to business success, few people are effective at doing both. Believe it. Look at your client-customer retention rate. Look at the rising divorce rate. Look at how relationships come and go faster than the changing of seasons. So, when you find a relationship builder who can also sustain relationships, hold onto them like a lifeboat against the current.

Yeah! Yeah! Yeah! Most of us know “It Takes Two To Tango” is a truism, but how often do we actually practice it? Is it part of your personal/professional skill-set, mind-set?

Face it: Those self-obsessed with expressing only their own ideas just aren’t very good at building and sustaining relationships, find it hard to listen, fail to observe, and never learn to Tango.

Partnering requires learning to Tango. Collaboration requires learning to Tango. Networking requires learning to Tango. And not just learning a few basic steps (see Tangerine Tango blog).  You must become a World-Class Tango Dancer to Master the Art of the Deal, to make all the right moves, to gain mutual agreement. See for Yourself: The Best Latin Tango

Every great composer needs great musicians. Every great musician needs great composers.

Mutual attraction, rapport, trust, respect, compatibility, and commitment are key elements of every lasting relationship. Remember this: No relationship can thrive or survive without mutual benefit and commitment. Once these relationship elements are lost, there is no relationship.

Vitalia Consulting builds and sustains cultures of mutual benefit and inclusion, driven by a desire to partner with others to get things done. You succeed by helping others become successful. Helping others helps you, too. Keep in mind, help is only a relationship away. 

Conversely, in cultures where “greed is good” (cultures that value the lone wolf, the lone shark, the lone genius) the act of working with others to get things done gets lost, projects stall, the brilliance of team ideas fades away.

We, Vitalia Consulting, believe that building and sustaining relationships should be a pre-requisite for all vital executive leaders, emerging leaders, and leadership development. True Relationships weather the storms. True Relationships can live forever.

Don’t forget the human touch, gestures, and movements. Give your relationships face time, real time. Be genuinely attentive, interested in people. Listen first. Listen, hear, and learn from their stories. Be open to being enlightened. Tell and show, don’t sell. Be authentic. Be yourself. No one likes a great pretender. Don’t be afraid of being human. Get lost once in awhile.

Want warmer relationships? Exude warmth. Be passionate about something. Meet off-site (whenever possible) at unique venues. Be compelling.

Embrace reciprocity. Give to receive. Relax. Now immerse yourself in the dance.

It really does take at least 2:2 Tango. Come on, let’s dance The Tango!It Takes 2 To Tango

Partner with Us! Let’s Get Started.


Marc Ortiz de Candia, Executive Partner ~ Provocateur

Vitalia Consulting | The Enlightened Leadership Leader


The Compassionate Pursuit of Happiness (Prosperity)

Warning! This blog may not be suitable for all readers, especially for those who made resolutions against happiness and prosperity in 2013, and for those who do not believe in the Constitution of the United States of America.


Enlightened Leaders can make others happy. Understand, this is not meant to say leaders are responsible and accountable for other people’s happiness, but Enlightened Leaders with high Emotional Intelligence (EQ) are responsible and accountable for creating environments where people can experience happiness. Consider this: The compassionate pursuit of happiness is not about what you want to be, it’s about who you want to be in this world:

  • as a compassionate human being
  • a compassionate organization
  • a compassionate business entity

Time is passing not everlasting. Notice? You blinked a few times and February 2013 is upon you, and will soon be gone. The Golden Globe Awards are behind us and now the Academy Awards are a couple weeks away. Time is passing not everlasting.

Have you had a chance to see the impressive small film, Happy? I highly recommend how this film explores the intrinsic contributors to our happiness as compassionate human beings. According to filmmaker, Michael Pritchard, “Compassion leads to happiness. Search the world for secrets to life’s greatest emotion, happiness.”

Economic growth has doubled in the last 50 years, but we’re not any happier, even though we have much more materialistic stuff. Right? Is everything we were taught about happiness and prosperity wrong-headed? After all, the study of happiness is nothing new. The point is that we haven’t seemed to learn very much from all the happiness research, and Corporate America (and society in general) hasn’t exactly embraced happiness or its relationship to compassionate leadership.

After all, most of us began the new year making promises to improve our lives, resolutions and un-resolutions based on what we did and didn’t do the year before. So, without looking too far ahead, look back at 2012 and assess what happened, what got you there, and most importantly, what made you happy, and why?

I believe that if you can tap into what makes someone else happy, you’ve expanded your enlightened leadership competencies. Plus, the fulfillment of making others happy reinforces your own happiness. For we cannot have relationships with others without reciprocity, mutual acceptance, respect, and value. Mutual benefit must exist to sustain relationships. Without mutual benefit, relationships die.

There are many things we do not fully understand on this planet, not on this plane. Yet, we must try to understand. Trying to understand is simply an exercise in becoming a better human being, a better leader.

Dr. Richard Davidson, University of Wisconsin, “Quantify happiness and you can quantify anything.” We’ve spent forever studying depression. Isn’t it high time we take a closer look at the value of happiness in leadership. The goal of psychology has been to help people rid themselves of their problems. Positive psychology studies and guides people towards happiness. Did you know that “Happiness” has become the most popular elective course at Harvard?

Marci Shimoff, author of Happy for No Reason says, “Our values are a key component of happiness.” Shouldn’t our values shape the kind of leader we are capable of becoming? Happiness is which something so often easily discarded as a “soft skill” is actually hard to develop, unless the essence of Enlightened Leadership is within you, and your organizational culture supports it.

Forbes released the January 15, 2013 report on the “World’s Happiest Countries.” Guess what? The USA wasn’t among the Top Ten again this year! What’s wrong with us?

Researchers have long known that we have pre-disposed genetic set points that play a role in determining how happy we can be. Moments of great joy or great sorrow return us to our happiness set points. Here’s the thing ~ While 50% of our happiness is genetically pre-programmed, only 10% is based on circumstances, 40% is based on intentional behavior! In other words, it’s what you choose to do, who you choose to be that has a significant impact on your lasting happiness, and in turn, the happiness of others around you.

Decades of research proves that happiness increases nearly every business and educational result: increasing sales by 37%, productivity by 31%, and accuracy on tasks by 19% as well as a myriad of health and quality of life improvements. Among those companies that don’t take leadership development seriously, vital and emerging leaders, these same companies ignore the role happiness plays in leadership effectiveness.

What can your company do to raise the happiness level of an employee? Happy human beings function better, are more productive, and live longer. Is the dissatisfaction in your company caused by depression stressors, or combined with low levels of Emotional Intelligence (EQ) within your leadership team, or the absence of happiness within the organizational culture?

Think about it. What did you do when the umbilical cord was cut? Cry, Baby Cry.

Knowing happiness can be quantified and measured, why has Corporate America been so slow to capitalize on its value to business? What about your company? (Conference room donuts, bagels, muffins, cookies, brownies, hot cocoa, and coffee don’t count!)


Nearly every company gives lip service to the philosophy “people are our greatest asset.” Results from the Conference Board’s most recent survey (tracking job satisfaction) shows that employees are “the unhappiest” in the 24 year history of the survey! Around the same time, CNNMoney reported that 87% of Americans are unhappy with their job. Mercer’s “What’s Working” survey found that one in three US employees are serious about leaving their current jobs. The numbers are higher among younger employees under 30 who tend to trend toward far more restless movement.

In her new book, The Myths of Happiness Sonja Lyubomirsky, psychology professor, argues that holding on to fallacious ideas about happiness, thinking we’d be happier if we had the right relationship, social status, material possessions, or…[fill in the blank] works against us. The issue is that these kind of thoughts keep us mired in our past, and don’t reflect how one cultivates happiness in real life.

Appreciating our relationships compels us to extract the maximum possible satisfaction and helps us to be grateful for it, relish it, savor it, and not take it for granted. Cultivating appreciation also helps us feel better about ourselves, more connected to others, more motivated to nurture relationships, and less likely to compare our situation to others and become envious. When given the choice between competition and collaboration, compassionate human beings will choose collaboration. 

We all know someone who has stellar success in their professional life but completely miserable in their personal life, every relationship an apparition. What’s your story?

Based on the metrics alone, you can easily make the case that the single greatest competitive advantage, in the modern economy, is a happy and engaged workforce.

In the New Age of Enlightenment, Enlightened Leaders must lead the way out of the darkness of depression and recession into the light of happiness. We, through intention, can change our brains, and in turn, the world around us. Enlightened Leaders perceive happiness as a skill. Compassion is in our DNA, caring about people, places, and things outside of ourselves.

People joke about “natural highs.” Truth is, science has proven that the compassionate pursuit of happiness gives you “natural highs” as good or better than any drug.

Acknowledge that happiness is an advantage at work that can be leveraged to get things done. Seek happiness in the present instead of waiting for future success. Exercise your brain for higher levels of happiness by creating habits shown to increase job satisfaction:

  1. Write a brief e-mail every morning thanking or praising a team member.
  2. Write down three things you are grateful for each day.
  3. Spend a couple minutes recalling something positive you’ve experienced over the last 24 hours.
  4. Exercise every day.
  5. Practice “Mindful Meditation” for a few minutes. Focus on your breathing in/out.
  6. Be forgiving. Practice forgiveness ~ every day of your life.  

Of course, if you can’t see the value, none of this will matter to you, and you should have read the disclaimer. Happiness comes from the capacity to feel deeply, to enjoy simply, to think and act freely, to risk life, to be needed not ignored.

Happiness: Set your compassionate self free, and the world is yours.

Marc Ortiz de Candia, Executive Partner, Vitalia Consulting


Music Playlist to Get Your Happiness Groove On:

  • Can’t Buy Me Love ~ The Beatles (Hard Day’s Night movie soundtrack)
  • Respect Yourself ~ The Staple Singers
  • Sweet Dreams ~ The Eurythmics
  • Higher Ground ~ Stevie Wonder
  • Sweet Dreams ~ Senor Coconut
  • Happiness Runs ~ Donovan (Yes! That Donovan!)
  • Ode to Joy ~ Beethoven (from Symphony No. 9 in D Minor)
  • Tomorrow Never Knows ~ The Beatles (Revolver)
  • Oh Happy Day ~ The Edwin Hawkins Singers
  • Bossa Per Due ~ Antonio Carlos Jobim
  • 100% Pure Love ~ Crystal Waters
  • Happy Talk ~ South Pacific (South Pacific movie soundtrack)
  • If Six Was Nine ~ Jimi Hendrix
  • Stand By Me ~ John Lennon (version)
  • Four Seasons ~ Vivaldi
  • Because ~ The Beatles (Abbey Road)
  • Instant Karma ~ John Lennon
  • Imagine ~ John Lennon
  • Happiness ~ Johnathan Jeremiah
  • Here Comes The Sun ~ The Beatles (Abbey Road)
  • I Can See Clearly Now ~ Johnny Nash
  • Inner Light ~ The Beatles (b-side of Lady Madonna)
  • A Beautiful Morning ~ The Rascals
  • Rain ~ The Beatles (b-side of Paperback Writer)
  • Living in a Material World ~ George Harrison
  • The Trip ~ Donovan (Yes! That Donovan again!)
  • Across The Universe ~ The Beatles (Abbey Road)
  • Love ~ Air
  • Yellow Submarine ~ The Beatles
  • Feelin’ Good ~ Joe Sample and Randy Crawford
  • Groovin’ ~ The Rascals
  • I’ll Take You There ~ The Staple Singers
  • Happy Birthday ~ The Beatles (“aka” The White Album”)
  • You Can’t Buy My Love ~ Robert Plant (Band of Joy)






Shifting and Sustaining Your Organizational Culture


“What is essential is invisible to the eye. It is only with the heart that one can truly see.”
― Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, The Little Prince

We are currently in the selection process of hiring Vitalia Consulting “Organizational Leadership Consultants” for new client projects, and expanding our global consultant network.Making final decisions before the Thanksgiving Holiday caused me to think about the things that matter most and to reflect on one particular consultant “exploratory meeting discussion.”

While I remain mesmerized by the vast array of multi-disciplinary talent available in today’s job market, and the many memorable meeting conversations, this potential Vitalia Consultant was talking about hot corporate America business “sustainability” initiatives (in the familiar context this word is expressed).

When I think back to that discussion, it still resonates with me. It stimulates questions in search of answers. Why is “sustainability” not directly applied to shifting organizational culture so that it’s in alignment with business vision and strategy?

Ask Yourself: What self-limiting beliefs, values, norms are holding you and your company back from achieving and sustaining the organizational culture you envision? You know, the culture you dream about when no one else is around. 

With the holiday season suddenly upon us, unless you’re in pre-school making paper turkeys traced from your hands, I doubt that many of us are talking about the pilgrims, Native Americans, Plymouth Rock or the first Thanksgiving meal.

In fact, in the last few years, I’ve noticed that almost no one commemorates or celebrates the true spirit of Thanksgiving, the act of giving thanks. The act of giving thanks before devouring our bountiful meals. Most people don’t seem to care about why they’re given time-off to celebrate Thanksgiving. We get lost in reminiscing about Uncle Albert and Auntie Grizelda. As much as I love sports, wagering on the almost always boring Thanksgiving Day NFL games has replaced the tradition of being thankful for what matters most in life: cherished family, friends, neighbors, and other loved ones (present and past). Les Petits Cadeaux.

Thanksgiving Day traditions are now mainly reserved for the wonderment of children, the sentimental reflections of ages past, and maintaining USA status as the #1 obese nation in the world. USA! USA! USA!

So, how can you sustain the best of your organization’s cultural values, beliefs, norms, and traditions?  Like the spirit of Christmastime, you must believe. Are you willing to examine the culture of your organization? Start by observing your organization more, listening more to what your people are telling you (in their words and actions, in their silence). Practice radical acceptance rather than conservative complacence.

Is it possible that gratitude and appreciation can sustain what is great (the best of the best) about your organizational culture? What would a cultural assessment reveal about your company? What’s working in your company? What’s enabled your company to achieve its success? What are you proud of? What are you unwilling to sacrifice? Whatever it is, don’t let go of it! You’ll lament what’s lost.   

After all, business culture celebrates the greatest products ever made, the newest and most efficient service, launching the newly re-designed website, closing the big deal, the best-selling book based on closing the big deal, acquisitions and mergers, the most brilliant software, promotions and successions, the greatest technology you’ve experienced just nanoseconds ago. Now, it’s time to unveil your new and improved organizational culture.

If you are an Enlightened Leader, then you believe that you are defined by what you do. This is where Emotional Intelligence, having a High EQ, comes into play for Enlightened Leaders. Gratitude and appreciation are inherent within your being.

As an Enlightened Leader: What if “Giving Thanks” became a cultural norm within your company? Pequenos Regalos. How might people perceive and experience you and your company differently? Partners? Employees? Customers/Clients? Suppliers? The Marketplace? How might their experience of themselves be different? How might their effect their performance be different?

Go beyond seeing and treating human beings as talent acquisitions, as the #1 corporate capital asset. Go beyond philosophical posters, policies and procedures. Let’s hear less talk. Let’s see more action! This is not about a holiday, or being politically correct. It’s about “being thankful” throughout the years.

Remember: You do it of your own volition.

Move toward “being genuinely thankful” for the people who contribute everyday to the success of your business. Make “being genuinely thankful” a sustainable part of your organizational culture. Consider what matters most to you.

While you can interpret this message as far too simplistic, remember that the wheel was one of the greatest discoveries by humankind. Shifting organizational culture is much harder to do. To make giving thanks a cultural value, you must sincerely believe in “Thanksgiving” in your heart and soul. It must be within you. It must be authentic to everyone within your organization. This is not an intellectual exercise or debate.

Every gap analysis tells the same story: Those companies who align organizational culture with business vision and strategy are 6X more successful than those companies who ignore organization/business alignment, 6X more successful than their competition.

Learn to celebrate every one of us, we the people who directly contribute to the success of your business. The sustainability of cultural values, beliefs, and norms should be a business imperative.

Nurture your organization to sustain “high business growth.” There are plenty of “Change Gurus” everywhere. This time around, try focusing on shifting and sustaining your organizational culture. Keep what’s good. Add what’s better.

As for me, I am genuinely thankful for my family, friends, and other loved ones in my life, in my memories. I am genuinely thankful for all of the professional consultants, colleagues, and valued clients who partner with Vitalia Consulting. Like a group of musicians creating magnificent music, making music that matters, I am genuinely thankful for the collaborative organizational solutions that we create together. I am extremely grateful for having had the opportunity to meet and work with some of the most amazing human beings on this planet. Look around you. We are surrounded by the brilliance of other people. It is time to celebrate being together because (as you know) things change.

In our prior blog “The Ethos of Leadership” we discussed the alignment of behavior, thought, feeling = Enlightened Leadership. It’s a parallel process. Aligning organizational culture with business vision + strategy = success

Let’s look into ourselves. What can we thank ourselves for? How can we give someone else that same feeling and experience? Let’s count our blessings, and stop complaining about the weather, or whether or not.

We are Vitalia Consulting. We are Awakeners! Piccoli Regali.

Marc Ortiz de Candia, Executive Partner, Vitalia Consulting



The Ethos of Enlightened Leadership

It’s Autumn, and you can see the seasons changing, multi-colored wind blown trees, rustling leaves falling down everywhere, creating a stirring, whirling dream world.

The white moon becomes the blue moon which balloons into the orange moon ~ the Autumn moon we remember from long ago and faraway comes back to visit us once again.

Even though the air of Autumn feels and smells strangely different, something is in the air, and we’re all breathing it in, taking it inside of us.

Of course, how you experience Autumn depends on where you are in the world. Isn’t that true? Though Autumn isn’t quite as vibrant or dramatic here as it is in other places, it can still be a wonderfully romantic season (if it’s within you).

Here in the San Francisco Bay Area, there’s a quiet calm before the winter rains come. Still, it’s the time of the season for reflection. As the year winds down and we all slow down a bit for year-end retrospection, introspection amidst the noise of holiday celebrations and distractions. Time is passing, not everlasting.

As for me, I’ve been thinking about a peculiar 2012 trend in business: a tendency to use catch-all words and phrases to mean anything and everything. It is surrealistic. It’s such a supercilious, stupefying trend, and it’s happening everywhere I go:  Inside mega-corporations, small and middle market companies, within the bandwidth of the “management consulting community.” We’re all breathing the same air, in boardrooms, in working meetings and sessions, in broad daylight, in the stillness of the night.

As organizational leadership consultants, Vitalia Consulting is in the process of expanding our multi-disciplinary consulting and coaching teams, and in the interviews, this strange phenomena is also evident. For instance, one thing I’ve noticed is that “change management” is being applied to every change initiative, and can mean anything to anyone. When words lose definition our language becomes blurred, and the power of words diminishes. In other words: “The main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing” is no longer true. Sure, “change management” can have different applications and be different interventions but, come on! Anything Goes? Are there no longer clear definitions to words, phrases, and terms?

I contend that this unsettling trend is not the natural evolution of our professional work, or the necessary interference of technology twisting the signals. More than ever, I am convinced that this disturbing trend has been incubating within the guiding principles and character of those who have the power to create, influence, and reinforce organizational culture, values, beliefs, norms, and the rules of the game. A simple suggestion: Change the leadership and you will change the culture.

So ask yourself: “Who am I? Where do I stand? Now that I know, what will I do?”

In the film “The Visioneers” the company is “the largest, friendliest, and most profitable corporation in the history of humankind.” Yet, the employees are exploding when they dare to dream and act on their dreams. It finally becomes an international crisis when the number exceeds 100,000 implosions. That’s when the President of the United States gets involved, supporting the corporation’s goal to manufacture a device (a relaxer) that will be fitted on the neck of every employee – to stop those dreamers who act on their dreams! In “The Visioneers”: The quickest way to kill your dream is to kill what you love most about your dreams.

Question why, in our multicultural society, when you’re asked to blow-out your birthday candles, you’re told from the moment you understood language, don’t tell your wishes aloud, and don’t even whisper your wishes – because if you do – your wishes won’t come true. We inherit these odd customs and traditions, and if we don’t question them, we pass these deranged values and beliefs onto our children. The same thing happens in organizations. Nothing changes if nothing changes.

“Leadership Development” is another one of those catch-all phrases that seems to encompass everything under the sun and moon and stars. Who wants to be leader? Step right up! Roll right up! Come with us on the magical mystery tour. All you need is love and information, the right suit and tie, the right haircut, some leadership coaching, and probably the right shoes. And: Yes! You too can be a leader! (Sorry folks, this doesn’t work in reality, at least, not in the long run.)

Leadership Development is reserved for those who have the innate capacity, talent, and potential to be a leader. Perception and self-assessment are not enough to ensure that the right people are selected and promoted. 

Enlightened Leaders are born, not made. We believe: The identification, assessment, nurturing, and cultivation of emerging leaders should be a business imperative. Opportunity is the missing piece of the puzzle. It doesn’t matter how much innate leadership capacity, talent, and potential there may be in your organization, it lies dormant and fades away, without opportunity.

Find the keyhole, turn the key, open the doors of perception to build organizational capability and expand leadership capacity. Align your open organization with the strategic business vision of your Enlightened Leadership.

Imagine you have a metaphoric factory that produces leaders. Be rational. You can’t develop anyone or produce anything without having the right materials. Besides, even with the right materials, you can’t develop anyone or produce anything if you’re in the wrong factory!

In much the same way, your organization must be tooled to manufacture what you want. How is your organizational culture set-up? Do you know? Is it set-up to produce the absolute best managers and leaders for your business? Well, is it?

You’ve probably experienced leadership development programs which espouse inspiration, motivation, and modeling – to be replicated throughout the organization. Blah, blah, blah…

Inspiring What? Motivating What? Modeling What? Why? To What End?

I despise “leadership training and management training programs” which presume that what can be taught can necessarily be learned, that those who are selected, promoted into management can necessarily become leaders. Remember, leadership is not about position, title, or entitlement.

Leadership is behavioral. Enlightened Leaders are hybrids: the right blend and balance of Knowledge | Emotions | Thinking | Abilities | Actions. Behavioral actions are the results of how these competencies are developed, or not. Most organizations still fail to fully understand, embrace, engage, and capitalize on these competencies in meaningful ways.

In our vital project-based research: After all these years of countless workshops, seminars, and webinars, we find that most companies are still mass-producing bad, ineffectual managers and leaders with these salient traits experienced by the human beings who report to them:

  1. Weak management/leadership competencies and capabilities
  2. Low Emotional Intelligence (EQ)
  3. Absence of relationship-building skills
  4. Hypocritical
  5. Pretentious
  6. Autocratic: Suppressive, Oppressive, Depressive
  7. Incapable of dealing with ambiguity, and making sense of it
  8. Inability or unwillingness to adapt to change
  9. Reactive
  10. Apathetic
  11. Unwillingness to admit own ignorance
  12. Neglectful of own personal development
  13. Organizational decisions based on corporate politics
  14. Inability or unwillingness to develop others
  15. Ineffective Communication Skills
  16. Untrustworthy
  17. Ineffective task management
  18. Inability to accept feedback
  19. Unethical: Selfishly blaming others for their failures, while taking credit for the successful ideas of others 
  20. Insufficient Production (Bottom-line: Is it any wonder why?)

With the warning signs just listed, what would you do with the incompetent managers and leaders in your company? What to do? What to do? What would you say are the remedies to this dilemma? What do we do with dysfunctional managers and leaders?

Far too often people are promoted into management/leadership positions for the wrong reasons ~ mainly because of their prior functional performance or who they know or both. Either way, without any structured assessment, these are hardly predictors of future management/leadership effectiveness and success.

Think about it…

  • Not everyone who aspires to being a great scientist becomes one.
  • Not everyone who aspires to being a great musician becomes one.
  • Not everyone who aspires to being a great teacher becomes one.
  • Not everyone who aspires to being a great surgeon becomes one.
  • Not everyone who aspires to being a great actor/director/producer becomes one.
  • Not everyone who aspires to being a great athlete becomes one.
  • Not everyone who aspires to being a great psychologist becomes one.
  • Not everyone who aspires to being a great software engineer becomes one.
  • Not everyone who aspires to being a great artist becomes one.
  • Not everyone who aspires to being a great politician becomes one.
  • Not everyone who aspires to being a great attorney becomes one.
  • Not everyone who aspires to being a great parent becomes one.
  • Not everyone who aspires to being a great consultant/coach becomes one
  • Not everyone who aspires to being a great manager/leader becomes one.

Get the message. Salieri could not become Mozart, no matter how strong his desire. No band will replace ever “The Beatles.”

It’s the difference between wishes and dreams.

The Ethos of Enlightened Leadership is about the distinguishing character, sentiment, moral nature, or guiding beliefs of an individual, organization, or business. You want to experience satisfaction? Try This. You’ll love it!

We are Vitalia Consulting. We are awakeners.

Marc Ortiz de Candia | Executive Partner | Vitalia Consulting