The sun was hot that afternoon in late July, when I walked with our older son, who was six years old at the time, to the garden to get some fresh vegetables for dinner. While I picked some lettuce, he pulled a large onion. After brushing off the dirt, he began to peel away the outer layers.
As we walked back to the house together, he continued peelIng the onion until there was barely anything left of it. As I had a couple of onions in my hand as well, I let him follow this exploration and waited for his response.
Having reached the center of the onion, he turned to me with a look of utter surprise and wonder. "Dad, it's all onion!" he exclaimed in surprise.
As a consultant and executive coach who spends many hours each week working with people and corporations through the world of change, I have been a part of numerous executive retreats, peeling away the layers of the organization to better understand the problems, the challenges, and the issues surrounding a specific change cycle. After countless hours of reflection, and upon analyzing many successful organizational change cycles, I am convinced that the role of effective, committed leadership is fundamental to creating a healthy organization culture. This level of leadership involves imparting energy and maintaining perspective.
By generating personal excellence and learning how to move outside one's comfort zone, we create the capacity for transformation. By creating a meaningful strategic dialogue, we generate the ability to transform understanding into action
In the end, at the core of the onion is onion. And at the core of organizational transformation is authentic leadership. As Mahatma Gandhi once said ‚ “We must be the change we wish to see in the world.”
So, I encourage you, also, to peel away the layers where you work and to explore, just like our son did on that hot July afternoon. I assure you: You will find the journey both productive and invigorating.
Remember: As a leader, what you provide will activate and energize the ability of the organization to transform challenges into achievements. So, take your time and choose wisely.