Joining forces with E4 has offered an opportunity for us to take some time to redefine ForgeWorks and our vision to spark organizational growth. As we’ve learned and grown over the past four years, we realize that “spark” is just the start. Forging and tempering—especially in 2021, post-pandemic—fits our vision for the future.
What does it mean? Forging. Tempering. Organizational Strength.
Forging, as defined by Webster, is “to form (something, such as metal) by heating and hammering.” The year 2020 offered lots of figurative opportunities for heating and hammering for leaders. Leaders of organizations of all sizes defined their response to COVID-19: Some simply hunkered down and rode out the storm. Those companies are emerging a year later, a year behind. Other leaders chose to rise to the occasion and offered innovative solutions for their customers. Those companies are soaring, having mitigated their losses and emerged on the other side, stronger and with a more loyal following.
At ForgeWorks, we desire to help you forge something meaningful. We desire to help you forge an organization that serves its customers well. A culture that embraces strategy and forward-thinking leadership rather than resists it.
Author Tod Bolsinger describes tempering in his book, Tempered Resilience, “To temper is an odd verb. It means both to make stronger and more flexible. Tempered steel is perfectly balanced at the midpoint between too soft to be useful as a tool and so brittle that the tool will break through hard use.”
He continues, “To temper describes the process of heating, holding, hammering, cooling and reheating that adds stress to raw iron until it becomes a glistening knife blade or chisel tip.”
Note “adds stress.” In this case, stress creates a useful tool. Stress, in many cases, can create effective leaders. In other cases, it can destroy leaders and organizations.
Tod adds, “Tempering a leader is a process of reflection, relationships and practices during the act of leading that form resilience to continue leading when the resistance is the highest.”
At ForgeWorks, we desire to help you temper your culture, your board, your leadership team, your organization so that you can lead effectively into the future.
The forging and the tempering, while at times challenging, time-consuming and difficult, will enhance your organizational strength. For leaders, the forging and tempering offers the strength to keep pushing through change. Conscious or sub-conscious sabotage to organizational change is a very normal, human response.
Bolsinger writes, “A tempered, resilient leader doesn’t comply with the group anxiety to return to the status quo. And a tempered leader does not become brittle and angry or discouraged and disconnected…. [Resilience] is formed over a long period before the crisis of testing so that it can continue the transformation during the moment of challenge.”
Are you facing a moment of challenge? A moment of change? Sabotage to your plans? Invite us to accompany you on the journey and give you the tools you need to lead your organization to a place of strength.
Steve Jeffrey is the Co-Founder/Guild Master of ForgeWorks and is passionate about building great foundations in people and non-profit organizations. His work is focused on innovation, strategy, affiliations and cultural alignment.