Organisational personality disorders stem from leadership

By: Warren Raaff

Georgina Barrick contests that an organisation is only as strong as its leadership… mentally speaking.

If you tend to think that businesses are rigid structures with no personality then you would be wrong. Businesses can be brave, indifferent, cocky, soft spoken, wise, brash, lazy and can even have multiple personalities. If one has to think of a business as a person, one could say that it is full of personality and is in fact a living, breathing organism… so to speak.

How do organisations take on these personalities? Generally speaking, organisational personality stems from leadership and extends down the human capital ladder all the way to the lowest rung. But it is the leaders who affect company culture and personality the most.

One organisation, Humanity Search & Select, would argue that it is not actually personality that fuels a business but it is rather, more specifically, a matter of consciousness.

What is consciousness you might be wondering? According to Georgina Barrick, CEO of Humanity Search and Select, “Consciousness is the new currency.”

In this context consciousness is a collective for an increasingly important group of behaviours such as creativity, openness, trust, courage, self-awareness, confidence, intuition and instinct.

Barrick contends that these behaviours are strongly and positively correlated to high-performing leadership and business success.

Georgina’s concept of consciousness may sound like new-age esoteric nonsense but it is actually based on substantiated research conducted in 2006. Research which took a sample of 486 top US business leaders and found strong correlations between certain ‘consciousness’ characteristics and success.

“Many successful business leaders talk about ‘gut feel’,” says Barrick. “They generally make decisions based on instinct and intuition with often less than perfect sets of information and their businesses come out on top.”

This affects the organisational culture right down to the lowest level employee and in turn affects the overall level of consciousness of the organisation.

“Leaders with low levels of consciousness breed organisation with low levels of consciousness.” says Barrick. “Companies whose leaders lack courage or confidence are slow to make decisions. This is why some businesses struggle and others don’t.”


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