Disseminating the New Business Paradigm Part 6—Breaking the Hierarchy and Moving toward Collaboration

Disseminating the New Business Paradigm

Part 6—Breaking the Hierarchy and Moving toward Collaborationbrownstones

Breaking the Hierarchy

For those of you who have been reading the New Business Paradigm series, I want to thank you for being here, for spreading the idea, working with it, and embracing it. I’ve heard from many of you with comments such as,

“Paula, this is it. We need this in our organization. I’m going to walk this into the office of [the President].”

“These are such important ideas, Paula. We need this and things need to change.”

“I continue to be inspired by your words. They give me hope.”

I’m so grateful for your support. All of this energy, good, good energy, is motivational and inspiring. Isn’t that the way it’s meant to be? Inspiring and supporting each other to do great things? A big ‘Yes’ to that!

At Uplift headquarters, I’m leading teams on how to shift corporate cultures to compassion-based workplaces. I have been witness to audiences filled with leaders and managers of organizations who have ignited a spark, coming together to support each other in their reengagement with work and life.

It’s been an incredible honor- this is the work I’m here to do and it gives me great pleasure to lead and support change in this way.  As I always say when we get to the heart of the matter, everything re-awakens and comes alive to something larger, a place where Possibility and Potential prosper.

So far in this series, we’ve talked about possibilities, ideas, and intentions around creating places to work (and live) with greater respect, kindness, and compassion. We’ve addressed how important it is to acknowledge that we’re all human and that we’re all in this together.

The next step in the new business paradigm is entrepreneurial in nature. By moving from a top-down business model to one that is service-oriented, we diminish the power of traditional workplace hierarchies. With our How May I Serve? attitude, we engage and empower employees ultimately, re-visioning the way our corporate culture behaves. This approach focuses on what each individual can offer. Seth Godin outlines this idea so well in this interview.

Perhaps the current corporate model had its place in time (although I find this hard to believe or wrap my head around), but it is crumbling before our very eyes…

Over the last few years, we’ve seen a dismantling of it through rapid and aggressive downsizing. We’ve seen workers disengaging from their workplaces and entrepreneurial endeavours on the rise.  It’s breaking on its on own accord and in good time. The way we are working and the system that supports our behaviours hasn’t changed much at all since the Industrialized Revolution. Over time, our processes have stagnated and become a barrier to human evolution, potential, and possibility.

Moving toward Collaboration

Here’s the thing, our leaders need to wake up to the idea that motivating in ways that support, inspire, and draw out the wisdom of themselves as well as others is profitable. It ignites the spark of productivity and paves the way with light, and for that matter, love. Love…it’s not a word you hear in business, unless it’s a love for an actual ‘thing’ like a service or product, but in compassion-based cultures, love is a foundational force.

The thought begins with us; it begins with you. Once you take the first step toward self-compassion, you can start being of service to the world and become connected to a deeper, happier self. This is what I am talking about and it’s a wonderful starting point.

I believe we are all natural born leaders

What we’re talking about is Self-directed leadership, knowing and connecting with your deeper purpose and offering your leadership from there. When you live from the heart, doing the work you love, act from a place of ‘How May I Serve?’, you rise up…and it’s from that place where you begin to operate and lead from your Higher Self. This Higher Self is connected, engaged, motivated, inspired, and filled with vitality. Here, there is a deeper wisdom and there’s not a lot of room for the ego, let alone darkness, negativity, or dismay.

Many of us have trouble accepting the premise that we are all leaders in our own ways.  In essence, we are in charge and are leaders of our own evolution

“We all evolve, whether we like it or not. Some of us evolve more and sooner than others, but the choice for each of us is whether we evolve positively or negatively, and whether we direct our evolution or not.” ~Lance Secretan

How do you reclaim your inner leader?

You tap into your ‘soft-skills’ or better yet, ‘right-skills’. I think it’s important here to debunk the myths of ‘right-skills’ so we can each begin to embrace our inner leaders and move into our rightful position in the New Business Paradigm. Here’s a little quiz for you. Just answer true or false, then look for the answers at the end of the post and see how you did:

  • Soft skills are perceived as a weakness in the workplace.
  • A ‘command and control’ (versus ‘Self-directed’) management style is the best way to get results. It’s good for bottom line.
  •  Displaying your ‘true feelings and emotions ‘ is a sign of failure.
  •  Putting pressure on employees will increase performance.
  •  Investing in your own personal growth and development is a sign of ‘selfishness’.
  • Individuals thrive in an environment with decreased fear, a feeling of safety, a sense of control, meaningful work, and where their actions contribute to a greater good.


“We are what we repeatedly do.”

~ Aristotle

This might appear a bit maverick but it’s such a brilliant example of how acknowledging and celebrating the inner leader in all of us is good for the bottom line. When Genentech launched the Personal Excellence Program, employees chose what they wanted to work on (instead of being told what to do). The result was employees were more motivated and felt a real sense of purpose in the future of the company. As humans, we need to feel that we’re connected to something much larger than us in order to be inspired and engaged.

What is your Greater Why?

What do you love? What feeds and fuels your energy?

Your creativity? What uplifts your spirit?

The answers to these questions will guide you toward your Greater Why (as coined by Simon Sinek).  In his book ‘Drive: The surprising truth about what motivates us‘, Daniel Pink describes “intrinsic motivation” as the key to fuelling sustained passion and meaning. This motivation is another way of saying that when we understand why do we do what we do, we connect to something much larger than ourselves and our desire to contribute is increased.

By increasing our level of collaboration, both at home and in the workplace, we become happier, more engaged, and more inspired toward the greater good. When organizations nurture these feelings in their employees, the business invariably thrives – research supports it.

An easy way to bring this connection to your days is through a series of simple reminders:

  • We are all human and we’re in this together
  • Lead from Higher Self, a calm sense of clarity and insight
  • Trust in and be open to the process – your own and others
  • Commit to being fully present and engaged with other (no electronics, just body-mind)
  • Engage in honest, open dialogue and feedback
  • Get curious and explore. You are not going to have all of the answers so view this as an experiment toward long-term growth
  • Be grateful for the very gifts of life

 “Curiosity keeps leading us down new paths.”

~ Walt Disney

Friends, we are breaking down the barriers and we are moving into a place where we are speaking a different language, a language of the heart with all its vulnerability, compassion, and transparency. This is how we are showing up in the world, how we are communicating, right down to the very words we use. The way we present ourselves has a huge impact in the world and as we evolve, we evolve into a place of collaboration and interconnection – ONE…and that, is good for business.

I look forward to helping you through this transition and helping to the lead the way.

 We are never truly alone. We touch every person we come in contact with and leave a part of us inside of them even if it is just a small portion of our identity. Our lives are the summation of everyone who came before us. Their hopes and dreams reach out to us through time and space connected by family, friendship, and love. When we die, we are not alone as the pessimists and self appointed realists would have us think.

Every kindness, every act of compassion and empathy becomes a part of us and in the times of doubt and fear we can feel the footprints they leave in the sands of our mind carrying us where gods dare not tread. We are all a part of each other and though we die, the impact we leave behind becomes a part of those who continue our journey and we carry them as they carry us along the cosmic shoreline to a future as bright as we choose to make it.

Live well. Love and be loved. This is the highest form of worship. -Timothy Havener


Did you take the quiz? Here are the answer to debunking the myths of our current business world.

  • False
  • False
  • False
  • False (What it does increase is stress)
  • False
  • True

In the final posts, we’ll look at Uplift’s vision on how the new business paradigm might unfold and some of the great work we’ve been doing that’s headed in this great direction!

Love and light,


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