Robert Quinn chattered the way to successful leadership by authoring the book, ‘Building the Bridge as You Work On it’. This book is not like many other self-help books that go on about how to see oneself as a successful person. Rather, it contains eight practical steps that transform one’s thinking and consequently one’s actions. Quinn communicates internal change of the mind as a pre-requisite for effective change. Using insights from this book, this essay will examine the best leadership practices that lead to change at the work place. In addition, this essay will integrate the steps of reflective action, authentic action, appreciative inquiry, and grounded vision as proposed by Robert Quinn.
Workplaces have become places of unstoppable action, which leads to constant stress and eventual frustration. To change the culture of a workplace, one needs to borrow Quinn’s principle of reflective action. Quinn notes that leaders need to stop what they are doing for a moment or two to think about why they are doing it. This means that, despite the pressure to perform, one must not lose conscious of the purpose of work. Most importantly, one needs to reflect on the outcomes of any given action. This will help individuals grow in their actions and in their lifestyles.
Authentic engagement is another step that would help create change in the workplace. According to Quinn, this means that an individual should engage in work with authenticity and honesty. In short, one should build their tasks around the things that they believe in. Hence, workers should not perform tasks because they are required to accomplish them. Instead, they should remain true to their beliefs and inculcate these to their work tasks. More so, people need to engage in their work with honest attachment and dedication.
Walking in these first two steps will help an individual change their perception towards work and life. These steps transform workplace robots into humans. To enhance this, one should engage in appreciative inquiry, a principle that is about gathering knowledge. Quinn advises that everyone should strive to build his or her knowledgebase all the time. A point of emphasis is that one should not ask to criticize but instead, one should ask appreciatively. This principle will help boost the confidence of those who feel like they have nothing much to gain from the workplace programs. It will also create a peaceful work environment.
The most important ingredient to success is the ability to remain focused on one’s vision. Quinn calls this ‘grounded vision’. He adds that everyone is capable of being successful. The difference between success stories and failure narratives is that one party decided to stay focused on their vision while the other party let go their vision. Those who strive to become better leaders and performers should never lose sight of his or her vision. Thus, everyone in the workplace should always remind themselves and truthful to their vision.
Many people in workplaces are like robots that have been engineered to perform tasks without much thought put into it. An accountant will calculate sums because that is what they are trained to do. Given this, many people eventually become robots who walk in and out of their offices in a perpetual state of dazedness. Applying the four principles proposed by Robert Quinn will help engineer the much needed change in the workplace.