Just got off the phone with one of my favorite people. David would be described by many as a spiritual person, as many of my friends would describe me…even though he and I don’t share the same faith. David’s spirituality is evident in the way he sees people – really sees them, notices them, asks questions. I’ve learned a lot from David. This is the heart of a coach. Really the whole purpose of a coach is to ask you questions that help you understand your superpowers and your purpose on this planet.

In an organization, imagine the multiplied impact of a manager who really sees the people in her horizontal and vertical path…and pulls out of them 100% of their capacity! This is what David and I were talking about today when he asked me about the leader-coach training I’ve been doing in organizations. There’s a movement among organizations who are nimble enough to truly value employees as their best asset. These organizations are seeing that “development” is so much more than an investment in someone’s skillset. True development sees the whole person and coaches a level of engagement out of them far greater than company policy alone can enforce.

David told me the story a conversation he had with a brilliant biologist-geneticist looking to see how to farm 30% more capacity from a corn plant. At first glance it appears to be a smart strategy for a company to gain 30% more value from a key asset. David asked two interesting questions, “Why do you think a corn plant won’t give us that 30% reserve?” and “What are you putting at risk by spending that 30% reserve?”

Your company, my company is a living organism, comprised of living organisms – human assets as they’re sometimes called. Employee engagement surveys show an average engagement of about 66%, which surely means that there’s an additional 30% of engagement in our people left untapped. If we do tap that, if we squeeze out every last breathe from that asset to gain more for the company, what’s the price we pay? Heart attack, stroke, divorce, depression?

What if we invested that 30% in the spirit of our assets? What if we created margin in their day to allow for creativity? What if we held certainty at bay to explore all the possible right answers we can find together when we get outside of our egos? What if we scheduled white space in the workplace in terms of time, beauty and even mystery? Is that allowed? Who says we need to color inside the lines?

If you’re interested in exploring the spirit of your leadership, sign up here for a workshop in January called your life 360º.

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