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Setting the Right Boundaries

According to Dr. Henry Cloud, there are several important types of boundaries that leaders must set:

  • Boundaries that focus attention on what is crucial and inhibit distractions from everything non-crucial, while keeping the crucial ongoing and current.

  • Boundaries that build a positive emotional climate that leads to high performance brain functioning.

  • Boundaries that keep people connected to each other and inhibit compartmentalization and isolation of people, teams, departments, or business units.

  • Boundaries that keep the dominate thinking optimistic and proactive as opposed to pessimistic and powerless. No negative or victim thinking patterns allowed to take root.

  • Boundaries that align people with the behaviors that they can control and that specifically lead to results, empowering them to do the activities that actually “move the needle” of measurable results, as opposed to focusing on what they cannot control and/or is not directly related to real results.

  • Boundaries that structure teams around well-defined purposes with values and behaviors which lead to high performance through defined roles, activities, and mutual accountability, along with the ability to diagnose, correct and fix what is not working quickly.

  • Boundaries on themselves that keep them from being a closed system, missing and repeating patterns, not getting honest feedback, falling into problematic thinking patterns, leading out of fear, avoiding necessary organizational change, not quarantining weaknesses, and losing control of their time and energy.

Those are significant boundaries, and every leader must spend significant time thinking about where they are lacking. Perhaps as you think about it, you see that your team is nearly completely dysfunctional.Boundaries for good or for bad are made up of two essential things: What you create and What you allow.Describe the culture that exists. To what degree are you satisfied with it?If you are not happy with the existing culture, and you have been in the leadership position for at least a year, YOU have either created it or allowed it.

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