It is obvious to read here that childhood experiences affect the way we lead in organisations as adults. Our values are formed by the time we reach 4 years old, and refined between 4-8 years. The old adage 'give me a boy until he is 7 and I will show you the man' is rooted in science.
An awareness of our influencers during childhood, and the values which were role-modelled to us is essential to understand our own leadership behaviours, cultural preferences and conflict triggers.
At Collingwood we would also recommend a future focus on what culture your organisation needs to succeed and how your leadership plays a role in creating that. Blending past understanding with future ambition will give you your own roadmap to leadership effectiveness.
Addressing these childhood issues is never easy, for several reasons. To begin with, most executives are not even aware they have problems because these processes and dynamics are largely subconscious. Those who vaguely recognize their issues may see them as unchangeable personality traits and dismiss them with “that’s just the way I am.” Others deny their problems because they are afraid of looking weak among fellow executives or because they lack the self-awareness to self-examine their past. However, raising awareness of communication and relationship styles that typically are rooted in early family experiences can be incredibly helpful for executives, the people they manage, and their companies. Often, just recognizing that the CEO and other team members are acting out family dynamics can lead to significant change and improved team performance.