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Fire on All Cylinders

Young people

Transform yourself and your team with the Paradise Shaper method

The world is changing rapidly. New generations are emerging. They cannot and will not accept how organizations are led. Trusted models have expired. It’s time to redefine leadership. How do you become a wise new leader?

Are You Ready for Wise New Leadership?

If the corona crisis has taught us one thing, it is this: The world has changed forever. We long for ‘normal’. But it is precisely that ‘normal’ that has led to this crisis! The severity of the pandemic offers tremendous new opportunities. Also for your company. What can you do to grab them? Look the crisis straight in the face. Discover what challenge lies hidden beneath it. And reinvent yourself to respond flawlessly to what’s emerging.

The renowned research firm Gallup paints a shocking picture of the situation in organizations: 5 of every 6 workers are not involved in the work. They only work to support themselves. This allows companies to ignite only one of their six cylinders! And of the other 5 employees, there is even one who outright undermines the work of colleagues out of frustration. A few more benchmarks: 57% of workers experience stress at work. And for a third of them, this translates into burnout complaints.

What is the biggest underlying problem? Almost half of all workers experience a lack of autonomy. It’s a psychological need that all people around the world have in common: We want to decide for ourselves how we do our work. However, most organizations are still led in a way that stems from the Industrial Revolution of 1850. Top-down, directive leadership, aimed at exercising control. A style that can be understood in an old-fashioned factory, if instructions are to be followed closely. Our current digital economy, in which service provision and customer focus define success, requires a completely different management. Own initiative, creativity and enthusiasm are the qualities with which your employees stand out. And they do not thrive under a directive regime. Be very honest, how do you lead your organization?

The Millennial Delusion

As they embark on their promising business careers, millennials— Generation Y, born between 1981 and 2000—often find themselves confronted by a heartbreaking deception. In many ways they have much more to offer today’s companies than previous generations. They are the most educated generation ever. Raised in the digital age, many have magnificent data processing capabilities. They can find simple solutions for complex problems at mind-boggling speed. They are masters of online communication and understand how to touch consumers in their personal space. They have a genuine desire to make an impact on society and to grow quickly in a successful career.

Lured by an inspiring mission statement and wonderful development perspectives, millennials accept jobs and have sky-high expectations. But as soon as the honeymoon is over, reality kicks in. They are instructed to be at the office by 8:00 or 9:00 a.m. and work all day long, sitting still and producing analyses and reports for hours at a time. Their team leads provide task-related instructions and check whether things are done. They are expected to reach out to colleagues, build relationships, and solve issues. They receive feedback only once a year in the form of a performance appraisal, emphasizing “areas for improvement.” As for impact, they feel they are at the bottom of the pyramid, with no opportunity to leave their mark on anything meaningful. Of every millennials, one experiences burnout, while 1 in 6 suffer from depression.

What is the cause of the cold shower many millennials experience upon entering the workforce? If we look at the way they were raised, we see the stark contrast with the top-down, financial result-driven systems most organizations have become. Millennials received lots of attention during their upbringing in the form of praise from their parents and loved ones. Even if they decide not to have children of their own, they tend to put family values above corporate values. They view their manager as primus inter pares—first among equals—and expect a lot of recognition and affirmation. Work-life balance and flexible hours are considered high priority, which managers may mistake for lack of commitment. They work hard and efficiently and get things done at a much faster pace than their older colleagues. Owning a house or a car is of lesser importance to them, although that does not imply lesser interest in making money. Millennials like to spend it on other interests, such as events, travel, and gadgets. There is so much more to life than work alone.

On social media, millennials have crafted an illusory image of their marvelously successful, mega-eventful and unimaginably joyful lives. They are married to their smartphone, looking for constant entertainment and confirmation of their relevance in the groups of which they are part. Their core strength of teamwork and inclusiveness has a hidden downside, however, as many millennials have a constant fear of being left out. The contrast of their superstar image on social media and the harsh reality of daily life may give rise to feelings of insecurity or even depression. Many are not used to sitting down and having a heart-to-heart conversation about how they really feel inside. They often avoid conflict and vote with their feet by hopping to the next exciting opportunity to make a difference.

While the past decades took their toll on my Generation X contemporaries—born between 1965 and 1980—we just hung in there. Concerns about earning a living, supporting the family, and taking care of the mortgage induced us to endure our stress and lack of motivation for our jobs. We denied our ideals for the sake of making money. We sold our soul merely to survive.

Millennials cannot and will not do this. This is even more relevant for ‘Generation Z’ (born after 2000), who will soon enter the labor market. Look at the way these younger generations have grown up. You will immediately see a stark contrast to the top-down, financial results-oriented systems that most organizations have become.

Do you really wish to prepare your company for the new era? Do you want to offer millennials and subsequent generations a place where they feel at home? Create the climate in which they can develop and thus lift your company to great heights? You cannot afford to waste the impeccable talents of the next generations. You’ve got a powerful V-6 up your butt, but fire on only one cylinder. How do you ignite all 6 of them? It’s time to transform your leadership and corporate culture. Learn how to create a vibrant community in which everyone performs at their best abilities and enjoys work the fullest.

A Well Kept Secret

My leadership journey really started when, as a 32-year-old professional, I ‘suddenly’ got a serious pneumonia. I worked day and night, proud of the fact that I achieved more than many colleagues. I had a young family and had just returned from an expatriation assignment in Korea, where I was working on an IPO for a large joint venture. I will never forget the words of my father, who was an internist in the hospital. He looked at the x-ray and said, “Not even sixty years ago, when there was no penicillin, you would have been guaranteed to have died. It’s time you started listening to your body.”

I took his words to heart and became fascinated by our wondrous human body. In nearly 14 billion years of evolution, nature has blessed us with the most advanced technological feats. Most people only use a fraction of them. I discovered a great secret that the ancient wisdom traditions have kept hidden for thousands of years—the outer world in which we operate is only a reflection of our inner world. Everything we encounter is the result of our own creation. The way we create is not through our actions, but through our own thinking and feeling. The success, wealth, friendship, love and health that we experience are only a result of our own internal processes.

That can’t be true, can it?” you might think. “All people want the best for themselves and their loved ones, right? Then why is there so much misery in the world, within organizations and in every life?

And now we’re straight to the core. That’s because we barely know our subconscious mind, our inner world. We don’t understand that we sabotage ourselves and thereby stand in the way of our development, cooperation and performance. We have no idea how the mind really works and how to focus it effectively to find clarity. We don’t know how to navigate our emotions and free our self-confidence. We have not learned energy techniques that would allow us to keep our health in optimal condition. In short, we lack the much-needed knowledge and expertise about our human design.

Precisely these matters I have explored, applied and refined in the last 17 years. By integrating my new insights and skills into my leadership, I had the perfect laboratory to experience what really works. My career really accelerated when I started to apply ancient wisdom. I learned to listen intuitively, set frameworks based on consensus, solve systemic blockages in my teams, coach in a transformational way and live and breathe full transparency. Where colleagues led their people in a directive way, I worked on the basis of trust—but within clear structures! It turned out to be a formula for success. I led increasingly larger organizations and achieved rock-solid results. And the best news is: my people did it themselves.

The Paradise Shaper Method

I have laid down my approach in the Paradise Shaper method, which I describe in my book “It’s NOT About You”. Paradise Shapers are new leaders who fully integrate ancient wisdom and modern science into their leadership. They have a deep knowledge of our human design. They are familiar with their inner world and dare to trust their intuition. They have a balanced mix of guts, compassion and competence. Paradise Shapers understand how team processes work. They create the conditions under which their people can achieve optimal performance.

The Paradise Shaper method is the unique formula that enables leaders and their teams to transform. My approach integrates ancient wisdom, modern science and the successes of leaders, sports heroes and top artists all over the world. Over the years I have compiled the core steps and refined them into a natural flow. The method consists of three steps:

  1. Master your high-tech body
    Return to your ‘factory settings and release your hidden powers.
  1. Awaken your ‘quantum mind’
    Achieve what you really want by elevating your consciousness.
  1. Frame the game for your team to thrive
    Free your team’s motivation and create amazing results.

To support leaders and their teams in their transformation, I founded the Paradise Shaper Academy. Our coaching, in-company programs and team expeditions are all based on the Paradise Shaper method. Business innovation is central to our approach, by which we raise the game to the next level. This gives customer satisfaction and business growth a significant boost, while realizing significant cost savings. But perhaps even more important: teams become super motivated and extremely creative. And you? You will experience a relaxed intensity and can really enjoy yourself at the peak of your performance.

An all-encompassing solution is up for grabs if you have the courage to embark on an inner journey. Now is the time to switch gear. This time calls for wise new leadership. Unleash your team’s resolve, resilience and resourcefulness.

You Can Start Right Now

Would you like to experience a positive dynamic in your team within one week? Experiment with the Paradise Shaper method for free! Download the Feedback Fountain—one of our proven powerful tools for leaders with guts!

Check it out here and start your transformation!

Your success is our mission,

Paul Smilde

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You Can Start Right Now…

Would you like to experience a positive dynamic in your team within one week? Experiment with the Paradise Shaper method for free! Download the Feedback Fountain—one of our proven powerful tools for leaders with guts!

    We’ll also provide you with free tips, tools and insights about Wise New Leadership!

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