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Dr Yvonne Sum, Leadership Coach and Author, is back on the Bigger Picture, this time to talk about her new book, 'Intentional Parenting', which marries the principles of business leadership and parenting. She claims this approach allows for more efficient and enjoyable parenting experience. We find out more with Meera Sivasothy.

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Transformational leadership challenge™

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Through Dr. Yvonne Sum's work as a Speaker, Trainer, Coach and Facilitator, she has consistently experienced successful professionals and senior executives who find parenting "the greatest challenge on earth". She has also had the privilege to meet fulltime professional parents who do an amazing job and who would never otherwise have considered themselves as leaders in their family 'organization'

Dr. Sum's mission is to inspire parents to be the best they can be so they can hold the space to unleash the greatest potential in their children through a joyful learning partnership. Hence, the Parenting for Professionals concept was born which gave rise to the Transformational Leadership Challenge™ program - essentially a Parenting Leadership program. Whether you are a professional parent, or a professional who is also a parent - you can take up the challenge.

What is the Transformational Leadership Challenge about?

It’s going back to a tribal future with the Highest Intent to transform leaders of tomorrow today....

Godin defines a tribe as a group of people connected to one another, connected to a leader, and connected to an idea that inspires their passion. People are by nature herd animals – we need the company of others. It’s part of our physiological and psychological make-up. Whilst sometimes we follow because we are told to, the most powerful leadership occurs when we choose to follow someone because they inspire us. This inspiration doesn’t need to be charismatic – it can be based on knowledge, presence, passion, belief and a range of other positive aspects. People are drawn to ideas and the potential these ideas hold.

The problem of fragmenting tribes

Organisations are tribes – but there are also tribes within tribes. The sales tribe; the marketing tribe; the service tribe; and on it goes. These tribes interact with each other, and they connect with a range of external tribes. The customer tribe; the supplier tribe; the industry tribe; the regulatory tribe; and again, on it goes.

And then each individual has their own tribal groups which straddle their work and personal life. The family tribe; the sport tribe; the church tribe; young Jenny’s dance class tribe; and here it goes on and on and on.

There are endless tribes which are important to us – and we move in and out of tribes as our life changes:

  • We get a promotion and move from the sales tribe to the management tribe;
  • We lose a major client and they shift from the customer tribe to the prospect tribe;
  • We develop an interest in photography, and we start to be involved in a new tribe;
  • We lose interest in running, so our links to this tribe diminish;
  • Countless other tribal connections influence our life.

The family tribe at work

Organisations the world over are applying tribal wisdom to their structure and culture. A good example is Flight Centre, one of Australia’s most successful travel agency groups, where the workforce is divided into groups that are called ‘families’, ‘villages’ and ‘tribes’. This encourages employees to think and behave collectively to create consistent high-quality customer experiences. Under this system, Flight Centre’s retail shops and other business units rarely have more than eight people, which encourages family-like respect and personal knowledge. Staff members work with staff of other Flight Centre shops to form a village, and these villages work together in tribes of about 120 people. Rather than go against the grain, Flight Centre taps into this hardwired human behaviour.

In the 2007 Flight Centre Limited Annual Report, a section entitled ‘Company vision, purpose and philosophies’ expands this concept. “Our structure is simple, lean, flat and transparent with accessible leaders. There is a maximum of 4 and sometimes 5 layers. The village is an unfunded, self-help support group that forms an integral part of our structure. 1. Teams (the family – minimum 3, maximum 7 individuals). Villages (minimum 3, maximum 7 teams). 2. Areas (tribe – minimum 10, maximum 20 teams). 3. Nations (minimum 8, maximum 15 areas). 4. Regions/States/Countries (minimum 4, maximum 8 nations). 5. Global Executive Team/Board”. The annual report was accessed on November 10, 2010 and can be found here:http://www3.flightcentre.com.au/corporate/annual-reports/index.jsp

This approach is supported by research undertaken by Nigel Nicholson, Professor of Organisational Behaviour at London Business School, who claims that there is much to be learned from our ancestral anthropology. Applying natural formations of families and tribes in business to ensure natural group sizings can help any business operate more effectively, says Nicholson. We work best in small family-sized groups. We find it difficult to connect with groups of more than around 150.

The Transformational Leadership Challenge™ program can be taken from two contexts.

1.  TLC™ Intentional Parenting
2.  TLC™ Intentional Leadership

 

Intentional Living

Transformational Leadership Challenge™ (TLC) is a program for unleashing the highest potential in you as an individual leading an intentional life celebrating your core values, fulfilling your life purpose as you actualize your life goals through a documented Life Plan & Vision.

Personal growth is initiated by asking yourself honest questions. Dr. Yvonne Sum provides the tools and develops the strategies to achieve your life goals.

Are your leading an intentional life?

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