Self-esteem: It's Not Just for Individuals Anymore
In his latest book, The 15 Invaluable Laws of Growth, John Maxwell discusses the power of having positive self-esteem at the individual level. Dr. Maxwell quotes psychiatrist and expert on self-esteem, Nathaniel Branden, “No factor is more important in people’s psychological development and motivation than the value judgments they make about themselves” (p 39). Apparently, this same philosophy is not just for individuals anymore. Teams and organizations are both more productive with operating from a position of power that positive self-esteem generates.
While self-esteem power does originate at the individual level, the organization must also possess the power of self-esteem. For example, is your company proud of its level of customer service? Does your organization take pride in the products and services it offers? Do your employees take pride in the working environment your organization provides both from a cultural and facilities perspective? When organizations function from the power of self-esteem, it allows them to serve their customers and the community in an exceptional manner, hire the best human resources, and beat the competition. This helps generate a bottom line in which leadership can take pride. This is indeed a powerful source of self-esteem. While teams consist of individuals, the team as a whole can have the power of self-esteem.
Giving careful thought to the make-up of teams is critical. For example, do your teams possess the right mix of behaviors styles, motivators, and competencies? Do the individuals understand and value the entire team’s behaviors styles, motivators, and competencies? Do organizational teams take pride in effortless communication both among members and between other teams? Do teams in your organization hold appropriate perceptions of their own behavior and that of other team members? Do teams make full use of each member’s skills, talents, and attributes? Does each team member have a high level of concentration that helps solve problems? Perhaps, more importantly, do team members have a good attitude? When all of these elements are present in a team, the team can then have the power of self-esteem to operate at an optimal level. When teams operate at their optimal level, individual employees, teams, customers, and the organization win.
It is clear, that the positive power of self-esteem works on several levels…not just with individuals. Your organization can develop the positive power of self-esteem through the power of change. Change your hiring process. Change the quick fix attitude of hiring a warm body to fill an open position. Instead, create the process and dedication of taking the time and having the resources to find the best fit for the job. This standard of hiring process lays the foundation for organizational self-esteem. Change the culture. Change the negative environment from one of mutual respect, understanding, and open communication by valuing contributions, talent, positive attitudes, and teamwork. Change the environment. If facilities are showing wear and tear, spruce up where possible and replace what makes sense and is affordable. If resources are lacking or depleted, determine what is essential and provide the best the budget will allow.
The power of self-esteem is essential for both individuals and organizations. Begin creating pride at every level in your organization and soon it will become just as infectious and powerful as negativity is infectious and destructive.