When you look back on your Career journey, when do you see yourself as the most engaged? What had been those moments that you have truly cherished?
I am sure one of the most common themes in those experiences is when you have had the best of the learnings. As human beings the need to find meaning and being able to add value to self and others is something that is central to our existence. And hence we cherish those moments the most that stimulates us intellectually and that had great value additions in our lives.
If we broadly agree with this above perspective, then probably we can say that our best moments in a Corporate space had been where we had great Learnings working together with our colleagues, managers and leaders.
Irony is for those valuable learning experiences we expect the Leaders to champion it and drive it from the front.
But honestly, I believe it’s not fair to put this responsibility only to Top 1% of the organization.
It probably rests with all of us to champion this cause. To not only play the quintessential role of leaders but also to be a teacher providing invaluable experiences to the people around us.
And that is where the concept of ‘TPOV” comes into play.
Many of us would have heard of Dr Noel Tichy. He once led the GE Leadership Center and propagated this concept of Teachable Point of View (TPOV).
“A Teachable Point of View is a cohesive set of ideas and Concepts that a person is able to articulate clearly to others.
It is a powerful means through which Leaders Can develop shared understanding throughout organizations, develop Leadership in others, Strengthens relationships and produce results”. (Noel Tichy, Leadership Engine)
TPOV essentially thus becomes your Leadership purpose – something that you are really passionate about and what you want the whole world to know you for.
As a Leader we can create a TPOV on –
IDEAS – Your vision and framework for action that creates a winning proposition.
VALUES – Your Guiding Principles behind all actions.
EMOTIONAL ENERGY – This is the inner strength that helps you create energy within your team.
EDGE – The Strength of your Conviction (rather perceptive)
Let me explain it with an example from Dr Tichy. If you are a tennis coach how can you really make it count? Tichy mentions the first thing is that the Coach better have a teachable point of view on tennis. You’ve got to have more than a set of rules about what your players should do on the court: You have to have a set of ideas about how you teach the backhand, the forehand, the serve, the rules of tennis. Then, if you’re a good coach, there’s an intellectual framing; you have a set of values, because values support the ideas. But then ideas are not enough. As a coach you aren’t going to get the players to sweat eight hours a day if you don’t have a teachable point of view about emotional energy. You need to demonstrate high energy levels to get them excited about those ideas and values. And then if you are a good coach, you have to make the final yes/no decision about the talent.
That’s a teachable point of view. If we can strive to create this awareness amongst all levels in the organization then the onus of creating a learning organization is no longer restricted to the top 1%.
In this context, I am reminded of a quote of Orhan Pamuk from his book, My Name is Red – “I don’t want to be a tree, I want to be its meaning.”
Similarly let us not be defined by our positions, our roles or our designations. Let us be defined by our intents, the meanings/values we create for us and for others – through our TPOVs.
I am striving to create my TPOV and inspire others through it. Are you??