Corporate Culture Consultant Joanna Barclay says all successful companies recognize the power of their culture and create it intentionally.
Is everybody a leader? Definitely!
Having three decades of experience in business transformation, Joanna Barclay is a Corporate Culture Consultant who focuses on connecting mind, body, and soul of leadership potential.
A happy workplace boosts productivity. Also, when people find personal coherence, they trust their colleagues and leaders. This forges a connection and allows them to ‘enable their full potential to work and shine’.
Joanna mentions that as people get older, they forget to smile and to connect into the broader sense. Through the ‘ABCs of high performance’ framework, she promotes awareness, belongingness and commitment.
The power of personal and human values shouldn’t be underestimated. They are ‘the language of the heart’. Leaders must understand what team members are passionate about and to connect this to the corporate culture.
According to Joanna Barclay, there are 3 keys to a high performance workplace: values, ethics and leadership.
Live your passion and don’t forget to smile!
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Moustafa: Hello everyone and welcome back to Passion Sundays – the best way to end a week and start another! Our guest today is a leadership expert that helps leaders build a conscious culture in the company. She is the bestselling author of the book ‘Conscious Culture’. Joanna, thank you very much for being here with us today!
Joanna: Hi! Thank you very much for inviting me. I feel honored!
Moustafa: I’m honored! Thank you! It’s such an amazing topic. Consciousness is an amazing topic, leadership is an amazing topic, culture is an amazing topic. Now you put all three into one go.
Joanna: I know, it’s a biggie.
Moustafa: So let’s break it down and talk about each separately.
Moustafa: For me it starts with consciousness. Explain to me more about how does why consciousness relate to passion and being a passionate leader.
Joanna: Ok, well I presented it with a framework. It’s called ‘My ABCs of high performance’. So first one is awareness, awareness to engage the intellect because leaders they need their analytical sides connected, right? But it doesn’t just start there or stop there. So A is for awareness and that’s expanding people’s consciousness to know what’s going on in their workplace. The B is about belongingness and this is engaging the heart. Because when you reach out to people and you connect with them, you have meaningful conversations what’s happening is you’re connecting on the heart level. And the work that I do with the assessments and the speaking that I do is around really understanding the power of values. Our personal and human values are the language of the heart. And when I get leadership teams and employees talking about their values, that’s when they are connecting, they are connecting at that level. And so with awareness and belongingness you create commitment. Now if you want to lead change and you want to transform an organization, you need the ABCs of high performance because without awareness and belongingness, you aren’t going to get commitment. So any new strategy that you come up with, have to have the ABCs connected to it. So I wrote a book ‘Conscious Culture’. It’s based on 30 years of business transformation experience that I have working with leadership teams. I started in the IT industry and then in 2000 I transformed myself and became a professional facilitator. So for the last 18 years I’ve been working with leadership teams specifically helping them develop strategic plans, organizational change plans. And for the last 7 years it’s been really understanding what is your corporate culture, right? Understanding what’s really important to people so their personal values and enabling those values to come into the workplace. Not asking someone to change and park their personal values at the front door where the parking could be the best of themselves, right? But really enabling them to come and be who they are, what they are passionate about and connecting it to the corporate culture. So what’s really working for you and then what’s limiting you. And when you understand that, what’s desired for the workplace culture. So my tagline for my company Culture Leadership Group is ‘Culture By Design’ because you want to be really focused and intentional but what is your workplace culture? You spend all this time creating strategic plans and these new strategies going forward but if you’re asking your employees to change in a certain way, to behave against their values, guess what? You are transforming you culture. So why not be really conscious about what it is? that’s why I call the book ‘Conscious Culture: How to build a high performance workplace through values, ethics and leadership’.
Moustafa: I love that. You actually summarized the whole thing in one go in a way. Well done, well done. I like it. It shows that you are passionate about what you’re doing because I believe the ability to distill knowledge into a workable frame or framework that is very simple is true passion. It’s very easy to go on and on and on and make it look bigger. It’s actually harder to make it smaller. You’ve done that, so it’s very obvious that it’s passion.
Moustafa: My question is: Where did this passion come from? Because you obviously said you started somewhere really far. Something must have happened that triggered this passion in you.
Joanna: Yes, I met a very special person called Sri Sri Ravi Shankar. I took his course called The Art of Happiness and it changed me or connected with me very deeply. I said ‘if I can bring this knowledge into the workplace, what a transformation would happen’. It connected me to myself. When you bring it into the workplace, you connect people on this heart level and creating this coherence. And essentially that’s what everybody wants: personal coherence. When they’re working in an organization, they want coherence with their colleagues, with their leaders. It’s that sense of trust and connection that you have so it’s really kind of feeling that love and feeling… There was a book called ‘Living the Corporate Soul’. The work that I do with culture-wise assessment. It’s awakening and connecting people to their souls, to who they are, their reason for being and I just want people to enable their full potential to work and shine and awakening people to who they really are. That just connects into the broader sense. It’s really about this connecting here and helping people… They say the longest road for people in life is the 18 inches between the head and heart. We start as babies and that’s all we do. Love and smile and connect people to the heart. As we get older and older, we forget to smile and we just kind of live in this left brain.
Moustafa: We get stuck in our head.
Moustafa: I love how you’re bringing heart back into it and then bringing that into a culture, not just individual because sometimes leaders get caught up in their own leadership world but the reality is that if you don’t create a culture, you are not a leader anymore because there is no one else to lead.
Joanna: Well, the culture is the leadership. Everybody kind of follows the leader and so they say ‘you just have to walk the talk’ but how many leaders are actually conscious in a way that they are the ones creating the culture. You often hear ‘I want more this and I want more that. I want more loyalty and I want more respect’.
Moustafa: But are you bringing it in?
Joanna: There are the fingers pointing back at themselves. How respectful are they? How trustworthy are they? How much loyalty are they demonstrating? Because unless they are showing it and promoting it, they don’t have it. so it’s really about being intentional and consciously aware of what’s important to you. How are you really leading and how you build the culture that you want. You know, the most successful organizations on the planet are conscious of their culture. They are creating something that’s called cultural capital where they treat their culture as a capital resource like their financial systems, their IT systems. So recognizing the power of their culture and really creating it intentionally. Those are the leaders that I want to reach out to. Those are the leaders that I want to work with and help because they’ve got it. they know what they want to do, they just need a bit of assistance.
Moustafa: I love that. What’s important here is to understand that everybody is a leader. I get a lot of people in companies who say ‘I’m not a leader’. You are the leader. You have to lead your life, you have to lead your family, you have to lead in your relationships. If you’re not leading, who’s leading you? That’s the question. There is nothing called ‘I’m not a leader’. People, this is not just for businesses, it’s for individuals and being conscious about your leadership stalling your own life. Are you walking the talk? Are you closing the gap between the heart and the mind? Are you present about what value you are bringing into the world and at the moment, in everything you’re doing? Thank you very much, this is like awesome. I love it! Beautiful. I appreciate it!
Joanna: Thank you!
Moustafa and Joanna: Passion!