Get Engagement Through Inventing the Future

Because We Don’t Get Engagement Through Motivational Speeches Insight’s from Dave Logan’s Keynote Speech at the 2018 Linkage’s Global Institute for Leadership Development (GILD)
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Insight’s from Dave Logan’s Keynote Speech at the 2018 Linkage’s Global Institute for Leadership Development (GILD)

Dave Logan, author of Tribal Leadership, explains we don’t get engagement through motivational speeches. Last week, he spoke at the Global Institute of Leadership Development on the area of Engage, in their purposeful leadership Model.  Why don’t we get engagement through motivational speeches? It comes down, to tribes. Every community of people are in a tribe. In Dave’s research, these “tribes” see life and communicate at 5 different levels.

Purposeful Leadership Model- Dave Logan Engage

About 49% of groups at work see life and communicate at the third level of tribes. Dave calls this level, “I’m Great!” At this level you see the lone warriors, they see that knowledge is power and so they hoard their knowledge. These people HAVE to win, winning is personal. Lone warriors are in the mood of wanting help and support yet are continually disappointed that others “don’t have their ambition or skill.”

Only about 22% of groups reach the fourth level, where the tribes say, “We’re great!” where people can fully be themselves, everyone seems happy, inspired and genuine and the culture emphasizes shared core values.

So, what do these tribes have to do with engagement? First, we must define engagement.  Engagement is building Relationships, developing team members, and encouraging full involvement from people. This includes full involvement intellectually, emotionally and physically.

Engagement is the result of a fire that gets lit.

Dave mentioned in his speech at the 2018 GILD summit, “Engagement only starts when the person declares, “I am going to do this!”  The future has changed, because of a community, and forever more the future will be different.” He went further into this when he explained engagement happens in the context of relationship, their friends didn’t give up on them.

They engaged intellectually, physical and emotionally. Engagement begins by rewriting of the story.

Imagine Two Scenarios:

Scenario 1:

Imagine you are not looking at this screen, imagine you are in French Polynesia, and imagine you have a drink and a book, what do you hear?

Tribal Leadership Default Future Exercise

People on vacation, people speaking French and English, you hear bugs, waves.

This involves full physical involvement:

Now let me ask you a question,

  • What is it you expect to happen between now and when sun goes down?

Seeing Bugs.  Taking a nap.  Reading a book.  Snorkeling.  Applying SPF Billion.  You have expectations that nothing would happen.

Now, let’s imagine a new scenario,

Scenario 2:

Tsunami warning just went off.

Tribal Leadership Warning

What do you expect to happen?  CHAOS.

This engaged you Mentally, emotionally, and physically.

What does this teach us?

People’s expectations of the future drives their actions.

Expectations are the driver of behaviors.

The expectation of the future has everything to do with how engaged we get. The first scenario pictured a default Future. In the default future you ask, what’s likely to happen if nothing unexpected comes along?

Notice the default future drives your actions in a way that requires zero thought.

Every group, family, organization and person has a default future!!!!

The Problem with the Default Future

Mediocrity in Tribal Leadership

The default future leads to the curse of mediocrity – where human beings BELIEVE things will always be the default future.

In the default future, we will continue to be regarded as one of the best companies in the world, and eventually we’ll become complacent and arrogant and then the slow creep of mediocrity will begin.  One day, we’ll wake up and ask, “how did this happen—how did we become GM?”

But Dave mentioned that leadership is making something happen that wasn’t going to happen anyway. Think about it, something is going to happen in your company, and we actually want something else to happen.

We need to face the truth, what IS going to happen?  We don’t have to be destined to go this way.  Every leader says NO to the default, we are not going to let this happen.  They see it confront it and then say no.

What’s the default future of your company or career? Listen to your team, and make them describe the good, the bad and the ugly of the default future.

Inventing the Future with Your Team

Tribal Leadership Inventing the future

This is destiny unless…..we turn to each other and say….we will NOT let this happen.

As leaders we need to steer from the default future, and work on building our invented future. The invented future is what we will make happen regardless of what comes along. As a leader, you take the default future, and work with your team on a new invented future, and ask them, what is something that will take us away from the Default Future? It can be to be so tiny, and even feel seem insignificant. Who needs to be involved?

What can we do that is small, insignificant, that we can do RIGHT now, that will change that default future?

With this, the movement from the conversation around the default future and building a new invented future, you get full involvement. You get to engagement indirectly!

Engagement in Communication

Remember when we talked about Dave’s stages of tribal leadership? Using this conversation about the default future, is what takes teams, or tribes, from stage 3 to stage 4. It has the power to up your game in your tribe and move into a new relationship with your team. Dave calls this team “tribal pride.” Imagine being able to move your team into a place where people CAN fully be themselves, where they seem happy, inspired and genuine. Where your culture really lives by shared core values. This is how you truly get engagement, through real conversations.

Need Help?

Teams and tribes come from all different places, and as a leader, sometimes there is only so much YOU can do without help. If moving your team through a conversation like this seems impossible, reach out to us. We would be happy to help you!

Learn More about Dave Logan

Learn More about Tribal Leadership

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