Fran García: “Generative Leadership Thrives On The Practice Of Giving”

Besides growing a practice as free-lance leadership coach, Fran García is a successful, connective, manager in the supply chain industry. After kindly accepting the invitation for this interview, and sharing his two Connective Leadership Profiles (from before and after the course he took in 2023) his mind went back to the first time he was assessed to become a manager. He completed a two-dimension test that told him to be a bit more (60%) People, and a bit less (but still 40%) Results oriented. That was in 2001.

Within the very same employer, Fran grew from part-time student-worker, across various supervising positions, to become general store manager with 80 people staff. When business went not too well, he decided to focus on the well-being, cooperation and flourishing of the shop-team. Business grew, as well as employee and client satisfaction; the shop became exemplary for the company: a breeding place for new talents, a flagship store so to say. When Fran recently visited the shop, 12 years after leaving, the employees still recognized him and showed him their appreciation.

Fast forward to 2023. Fran is managing a department in his current company. His team is flourishing and produces great results. Fran also experiences tension among his fellow managers, perhaps because he manifests a leadership style that regular production companies are not so familiar with. Fran enrolls in the hybrid course Appreciative and Generative Leadership offered by Instituto IDeIA Academy. At the start of the learning journey, in May 2023, he was asked to complete the Connective Leadership Mirror, which he did again after the course, in August. According to Fran, the course was a real eye-opener on his topic of facilitating flourishing teams. One of the insights was that an organization is always bigger than one team, and that one flourishing department in a competitive culture may create tension, especially between the various managers. Fran must have felt this. Being a generative leader of a team creates automatically the responsibility to share and spread the ‘generativity’ wider than just the own department. As Fran put it very clearly: “As a manager you need to give, give, give. This goes well beyond the boundaries of one's own domain, team or department. It concerns the whole of the organization, and that asks for even more appreciative energy...”

During our blog-interview we watched the subtle shift in Fran’s 2023 profiles, which made him even more aware of what might have happened during the eye-opening adventure in the IDeIA Academy. Although one CLM profile may be interesting to reflect on, and may give rise to considering points of attention in your leadership behavior, it is not a fixed or determined view of your personality. But when done twice, over a period of deliberate learning and self-reflection, the shift between the consecutive profiles really tells us a story. In the case of Fran, where the Green (people oriented) value system was clearly dominant - very much like the 60/40 ratio as previously mentioned - his profile made a shift that we could call “towards more teal”: an increase in the so-called ‘tier two’ value systems Yellow and Turquoise. The mix of both make the color Teal, as mentioned in the book Reinventing Organizations by Laloux.

Fran’s second profile showed much more equality in his upper value systems (on the left side of the diagram) not only presenting a profile very close to what we call the ideal connective leader, but also with more equal attention for humans in general, individual talents and the bigger context. How ‘cool’ is it to imagine that the conjunction of Fran’s talents and convictions, with the learnings of the generative leadership course, could have supported this shift? And perhaps more: it may even have provided Fran with the extra trust and self-confidence about his appreciative style of leadership, a style that may not always be understood - or even envied - in an ‘old school’ management environment, but anyhow can flourish even there, supposed that we include the fellow-managers in our journey. Something that Fran has taken up already, by growing his activities as a management coach and leadership councilor. You will find him on LinkedIn.

Cees Hoogendijk
March 25, 2024
Reading time 4 minutes
Fran García: “Generative Leadership Thrives On The Practice Of Giving”
Photo: Fran García