What Makes a Successful Organization

By Alex Vann

Sep, 2022

Ted Engstrom says, “The successful organization has one major attribute that sets it apart from unsuccessful organizations: dynamic and effective leadership.”

Work requires energy. Leadership requires that energy be directed, leveraged and appropriated in a way that both energizes and galvanizes the organization. This is dynamism. Today, with much misplaced passion and false fervor abounding, leaders who will be dynamic must also be genuine. Their energy must come from their heart. Nothing is more dynamic that an energy that comes from the heart. An organization will never achieve and sustain the success they are looking for without leaders who are dynamic.

What exists naturally before transformation is passivity. Passivity is unused energy or misplaced energy. passive leader leaks energy or wastes energy. This type of untransformed leader will not direct their organization towards success.

Robert Greene says, “The conventional mind is passive – it consumes information and regurgitates it in familiar forms. The dimensional mind is active, transforming everything it digests into something new and original, creating instead of consuming.”  Transformation is the genesis of creativity, curiosity and innovation. Organizations that disrupt the conventional and passive natural tendencies are much more likely to succeed. But there must be a rejection of passivity. This does not mean frantic or frenetic activity. Very essence of transformation is leading the dimension or plane that you are currently in and stepping into the unknown or little known.

I had a flagging store. I needed success. I knew transformation was the key. The results of this store were good, but not great. They could have been better. They should have been better. We began to build a leadership team where each of our leaders really led from their heart. I was looking for dynamism first, effectiveness second.

I propose that you cannot make someone to be dynamic. You can model it and instruct to it, but dynamism is a transformational work at the level of the heart. Each leader has to want it and suffer for it. Without such a transformation, futility, frustration and failure will surely result.

You can teach leaders how to be more effective. You do this by giving one, small objective a single goal at a time. Before you hit bullseyes you first must teach your developing leaders how to hit the target. Dr. Curtis Odom agrees and says, “Dynamic leaders understand that we no longer live in a static world. They chose to focus on only one thing at a time.” I teach my leaders that if everything is important, then ultimately nothing is important and nothing will get done. Focus, plan and attack one thing at a time. This is dynamic leadership.

If you can’t hit the target yourself, then expecting others to is an exercise in futility. No amount of authority, compensation or expectation can put others on a target you don’t know how to hit yourself. A fundamental error in development is assuming a leader in a position or with a rank or title is capable of hitting the target. Effectiveness is a tightly grouped shot pattern. Effectiveness comes through experience.

This group of leaders lead from their heart and absolutely get after it to get their shots on target. Some go wild. Some hit the edges. But, they are learning to get on the target—one shot at a time.  Bullseyes will come. The leader’s job is to find those who are willing to learn and who will release their heart in a collective desire to find success together.

Organizations and teams transform when leaders transform. Every organization has a heart and that heart is evidenced in those who lead. Success is the byproduct of transformation.