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The Challenges For Leaders In Finding ANY Programs To Aid The Increasing Problems

Why They ALL Continually Fail And What We Need To Look To Next

By Cody Dakota Wooten, C.B.C.Published 3 months ago 19 min read

If you are a Leader in today's world looking for Solutions to Problems, you're in a rough place.

I frequently write about how the Problems we are seeing are Leadership Problems, but I can't say that I "completely" blame Leaders.

The reality is that many Leaders are "searching" for Solutions to the very real Problems we see in the Workplace, spending a LOT of money to get them fixed, and ending up with Nothing for their efforts.

I understand how, amid Desperation and Pressure from Employees, Shareholders, Customers, and even the World's Perception, we might turn to unlikely Solutions that make no sense.

Especially after being told that "this Solution" was THE Answer to "ALL" your Problems... only to find it wasn't.

What makes it more difficult is that, often, the Programs "Intend" to solve the Problems, but simply can't.

The reason we are seeing all of this is that our current "Solutions" are all built on Broken Paradigms, for one reason or another.

So, let's look at the "Solutions" we are seeing, what Paradigms they were built on, and why they can't Solve today's Problems.

Leadership Development

This is where I started myself, and where many Organizations have been since the 80's and 90's.

A LOT of money is spent on this - $350 Billion per year.

Yet the results just don't Justify the cost.

80% of Leadership Development Programs FAIL, with "Limited Success" the rest of the Time.

It makes complete sense that if you spend extreme amounts of money on "Leadership Development" to only see "some" Success in a few Individuals, it would be Frustrating.

The Failure Rate is why I no longer do "Leadership Development" in my own work.

To understand why this Fails, you have to understand where Leadership Development comes from.

Before this became the "thing", you had businesses focused on Business Management.

During this period, there was a need for Businesses to learn how to Manage Resources more easily and precisely.

This was especially needed with the booming of Technological Advancements and the need for Businesses to "keep up" with each other.

However, there was a limit to what this could accomplish.

This form of Development was very Cold and Calculated, which has many benefits, but did not sit well with Humans who felt like they were being treated like Cogs in a Machine.

To overcome this, Leadership Development was born to be more "Human" Focused.

However, the largest Problem was that Leadership Development took the same playbook as Business Management.

Business Management believed you could take Skills, and if you "Developed" those Skills enough, could create better Efficiency.

So Leadership Development looked at "Leadership Skills" to see how they could be "Developed".

The problem?

"Skills" don't necessarily translate to Leadership Success.

In my work, I've found that there are Leaders who have ALL the "Skills" yet consistently Fail, and there are Leaders who have none of the "Skills" who consistently Succeed.

How can that be?

Well, Leadership Success has more to do with Human Psychophysiology than it has to do with Skills.

When you look more deeply into the problems, you find that Leaders whose Psychophysiology is more aligned tend to do significantly better with their Teams than Leaders who are struggling with their own Psychophysiology.

In Fact, what you see is that Leaders who Struggle with their Psychophysiology also have Teams that Struggle with their own Psychophysiology.

Along with this, there is a major Problem with Leadership Development in the belief that everyone needs the "same" Skills.

This however is simply not true.

As of the 90's there are over 950 "Academic" Definitions of Leadership (No Telling how many have been created "since" then) each requiring different types of Skills depending on the Context they are in.

For instance, Leaders in our Schools need very different Skills than Leaders in the Military, who need very different Skills than Leaders in Sports, or Leaders in Business, not to mention Leaders in different Departments of Business.

Assuming "Skills" are applicable across the board is an extreme mistake.

That is why I am an advocate of Leadership Cultivation, understanding which Leaders need what depending on the context of their Leadership.

These Flaws (and more) explain why the Statistics around Leadership have continually fallen over the years.

People are less inclined to Trust Leaders and have less and less Faith in their Leaders to continue "Leading" them to Success.

It's so bad that most people Trust Complete Strangers MORE than any of their Leaders in Business.

As the Pressure has been increased on Leaders, they have turned to other methods, but find similar problems.

Communication/Emotional Intelligence

It has been stated many times over the decades that Improved Communication Levels and Emotional Intelligence help Businesses.

In many respects, it is True.

Businesses find themselves developing more and more Silos across Departments, where Teams don't know what other Teams are doing.

With this, Teams are finding themselves more and more spread out across the world, with different Cultures that sometimes clash.

There are needs to Improve Communication which can be accomplished through Improved Emotional Intelligence.

However, there are major Problems with this as well.

Much like the problem with Leadership Development, one of the largest Problems we see with Communication and Emotional Intelligence is that they are Focused on "Skills".

However, those "Skills" are a very small part of the equation.

Again we come to Psychophysiology, as it has been said that 80% of communication is Non-Verbal.

However, even "knowing" this, there is still a huge aspect that is missing.

This comes from Nuerocardiology - we communicate with people literally with our Hearts.

You could have a perfectly blank face, not make any physical gestures with your body (ie No Body Language given), and you would STILL be indirectly communicating your state of mind with others.

This has even been tested with a wall between people where they are not even able to see or interact with each other, yet still Impact each other!

That means that if you are feeling Dis-Stress, others can literally "feel" it coming from you, even if you can perfectly "mask" it.

The bigger problem here is that this Dis-Stress can also literally be passed along from person to person.

So even if you know the "Perfect" way to Communicate what you want as a Leader, if you are feeling Stressed Out, not only will that be felt, but it could also be "transmitted" to your Team via Neurocardiology.

Then, when we look at the Skills of Emotional Intelligence, we find that even when we "understand" how Emotional Intelligence works, we are often undermined by our Psychophysiology.

You may know how you "should" react in certain situations, but that doesn't mean we actually "do" that when the situation arises.

When you look at today's biggest Problem, Burnout (aka extreme Dis-Stress), you can see how no matter how "skilled" you are in Communication and Emotional Intelligence, you will struggle with it.

When people are in states of Dis-Stress, they can't Clearly Think, and often they are hesitant to Communicate what they truly feel.

Without fixing the Dis-Stress, your Communication Skills will ALWAYS be hindered.

However, the Focus on Burnout did turn people toward something else.


With Burnout becoming such a Focus, it did lead more people to lean into Health/Wellness/Wellbeing.

However, we see major problems here as well as their basis are all flawed in one way or another.

Solutions tend to be Focused on a few areas that Businesses have turned to - Fitness, Meditation, Tracking, and Purpose.

Now, we all know that "Fitness" is beneficial in many ways.

However, the Failure here is to understand how "Stress" works.

All Stress Adds.

Any Stressor will be added to all other Stressors in our lives, and the Results of those Stressors (whether they help or hinder) will depend on all other Stressors in our Lives.

The Problem is that Working Out, inherently, is a Stressor.

We generally think of it as a Eu-Stress (Good or Beneficial Stress), and it "can" be... IF we aren't already in Dis-Stress.

This becomes the Problem - 80% of people are in Burnout (Extreme Dis-Stress) with many more who are very close to those levels.

So, as people add the Stressor of Fitness to their Burnout, they are just making things worse.

As things get worse, people are quick to "give up" trying to Improve their Fitness (just look at how many people give up their Resolutions!).

They simply can't "add" a new Stressor on top of everything.

This often means that Organizations pay for Benefits with Gyms or similar Services, only for them to mostly go unused.

It appears to be a Cost that is not being used, and so Leaders (understandably) ask if they should provide it at all.

Then we can look at Meditation.

There are indeed many benefits that occur with Meditation, and there is good Scientific Data to back this up.

It also doesn't matter what type of Meditation you utilize, whether it is an Eastern, Western, or even a variety of Indigenous Traditions.

They all seem to have Benefits.

However, there is still a problem with all of these modalities.

They are not designed for today's world.

There is a very specific Problem with Today's world that these traditions never had to take into account.

It comes to Recovery.

See, we live in a Society that is "always on".

Nearly 24/7 we have things that are, in many ways, designed to make sure we don't Recover.

Meditation is a great tool to assist in Reducing "Immediate" Dis-Stress.

So, it can feel good in the moment.

However, the problem is that it doesn't Heal "Stress Damage".

A better way to think of Meditation is it acts like a Band-Aid.

When we are bleeding out, we can apply the Band-Aid to help slow the bleeding down.

The problem is that we are accumulating Cuts and Gashes faster than we can apply Band-Aids and we do not have proper Resources to truly "Heal" underneath the Band-Aids.

So, at the end of the day the "Stress Damage" accumulates, and the Meditative Practices give us "Immediate" Relief, but the underlying Problems are getting worse.

At the end of the day, Meditation does not solve the deeper Problems and has little Business Impact in the long run.

If we were Recovering Properly, we would see more benefits from things like Meditation (in its many forms), but alone it is not enough.

That leads us to Health Tracking Devices.

These can be amazing tools to see where our current Health is.

I myself have 3 devices that I regularly use.

However, the Problem, again, is that these devices don't inherently Fix the underlying Problems.

They may help us get Indications of what we could Improve, but they don't "fix" those things.

Then, when you look at ALL of the factors that are Negatively Impacting us, it can be very difficult to find "where" to fix to help us Improve what we are Tracking.

You could use a Tracking device to Identify that you don't Sleep well, and that's great to discover, but "What" do you need to do to fix that?

I was just speaking with someone recently struggling with Sleep and they named off about 10 different Procedures that they had been doing Consistently to try to Improve their Sleep, which weren't moving the needle at all!

Even with that, I still had about 30 more different Procedures that came to mind that "could" help, and THAT isn't even an exhaustive list!

There are so many complexities to JUST Sleep that it makes it difficult (or even Impossible) for a Tracker to Identify how best to Recover.

With some people, this turns Tracking Devices into a MAJOR Stressor instead of a Tool.

They see that they can't find a good "lever" to Aid them where they are Struggling, and it causes MORE Dis-Stress in them.

It leads many to either not wanting to use the devices out of the Fear and Anxiety it Creates, or thinking that the devices just don't work at all.

In either case, it often becomes a Cost without a Benefit.

Finally, we can dive into Purpose.

It has been something that many Organizations have turned to in order to try to get better Buy-In.

The Problems here though are many.

One Aspect is that many Organizations Fail to do this properly.

So Leaders "think" they are helping Employees see a "Purpose", but they completely miss the mark.

Then, the Reality is that there are some Businesses where, as it stands today, their work is Inherently Meaningless.

So, trying to make it "Feel" Purposeful just doesn't land with Employees.

It Feels extremely Hollow and Shallow, which people do NOT appreciate.

Then, we have the same Psychophysiological Problems as many of the above.

Even if the work TRULY does have Purpose, there is only so much Dis-Stress we can handle as Human Beings before it doesn't even matter.

Survival begins to become more Important than any "Purpose".

That is why you have such high levels of Burnout and Struggle in the Medical Field right now.

That Field TRULY does have an Inherent Purpose, but Medical Professionals at all Levels are so Burnt-Out that they just can't Handle it anymore.

Purpose can only push us so far.

This leaves us at the end of the day putting a lot of Money and Effort into these types of Programs, only for them to Fail, not be Utilized, or not move the needle Enough.

So the Leader's Dilemma only Increases and Leaves them more desperate.


There is another issue that we are seeing in the Workplace.

In general, we are seeing declines in Productivity.

More Work Hours, More Staff, More Costs, but not enough "Profit Margin".

This has led to the Great Myth of the Business World that Employees are "Lazier" than ever, and they "Don't want to work".

But this simply isn't True when you look more deeply at the Data.

Even though it is True that we are seeing more Employees being used in Workplaces, and more Hours, the Problems in Productivity are NOT directly coming from Manhours or the Employees.

It's a far more Nuanced Issue, and just "Adding" more Hours and Bodies actually COMPOUNDS the Issues and therefore further Decimates Productivity.

What we are truly seeing is a mixture of Increased Dis-Stress/Burnout, Leadership Mistakes, and Fundamental misunderstanding of Productivity.

Many people believe that there are several "Skills" you can utilize to Increase Productivity, but again "Skills" is the wrong Solution.

See, to understand Productivity, you have to understand human Psychology.

The highest levels of Productivity are attained in Flow States.

Flow States are when Humans Feel our Best, and Do our Best Work.

In Fact, while in Flow States, we become 5 Times MORE Productive than when we are not in Flow States.

The Problem here?

The current Office Environment fundamentally BLOCKS Flow from Occurring.

See, there are 3 major Problems that the modern Office Environment creates that completely PREVENTS Flow States.

The first is that you need Focus to get into Flow States.

However, most Office Environments have SO MANY Distractions that it just doesn't give Employees enough time to get into Flow, let alone WORK in Flow State for any significant Time.

As Employees' Psychophysiology "attempts" to get them into Flow, they get a Distraction that Destroys the Efforts already made, forcing them to Start Over.

But no matter how many times they Start Over, they just get Distracted again.

Then, we also have the Burnout Problem again.

See, Flow States occur when we have "just enough" Stress (Eu-Stress) to Challenge Us.

But, if we have too much Stress (Dis-Stress), we become blocked from Flow.

When we are in Burnout (as 80% of people are, with more not far behind), we literally can't get into Flow States.

Then, as we end up with "more" Dis-Stress, our Productivity continues to Decline.

So as we add more Hours on top of Employees, we see "less" Results and Productivity.

Plus, as we add more Hours, Employees just Burnout faster.

This leads us to the third Problem.

Flow is a High-Energy (Mg-ATP) State.

To Reach Flow, we need high amounts of Mg-ATP (what the body uses for Fuel).

However, we see a multitude of Problems here.

One aspect is that when we have too many Distractions, a LOT of Energy gets wasted.

Our body "Ramps Up" Energy Use to get into Flow, but the Distractions kill all that Effort, and the Energy (Mg-ATP) is wasted.

Then, in our Society today, we are seeing many factors that are preventing our Bodies from properly creating Mg-ATP.

From poor Farming Methods leaving food less Nutritious, to the ludicrous amounts of Seed Oils, Sugar, Unnatural Vitamins and Minerals that aren't Bioavailable, and Excessive Iron that are put into all of our food, our Bodies simply aren't able to Create enough Mg-ATP to meet demands.

As our Body is blocked from proper Mg-ATP Production, it causes an invisible Dis-Stress on the Body.

This causes aspects of our Bodies to Shut Down (DNA literally turns off) to maintain "Survival" Processes.

Those Processes that are shut down prevent us from Achieving "Higher Functions" such as Creativity and Problem Solving, which makes us less Effective.

Those Processes are Unnecessary to Personal Survival.

So, we see that Energy is both not being Created fast enough, and at the same time being Wasted more Quickly.

It's a Pincer Problem where Humans are being attacked from both ends.

Then, we have Leadership Mistakes.

One of the greatest problems we are seeing is that Leaders, in their Pressure to come up with Solutions, are making classic mistakes that destroy Productivity.

For Instance, many Leaders are calling MORE Meetings to try to Solve Problems.

But the Problem with those Meetings?

They end up being completely Unproductive!

The Meetings being called come to no Resolutions, and too many People are called into them that don't need to be there.

It leads to wasted Time and fewer Productive Hours.

In some cases, even though "More Hours" are being added to Employee's Times, those same Employees are LOSING Productive Hours because of Increased Meetings!

All of these Factors combine making traditional "Productivity" Efforts virtually Meaningless.

When all of the above are combined, all of these Efforts from "Leadership Development", to "Wellness", to "Communication", to "Productivity" all end up having no Effect, it turns Leaders searching to VERY Strange courses of Action.

Return-To-Office Mandates/Etiquette Classes

This leads me to some of the "Strange" attempts to fix the Problems of the Workplace that simply will either Backfire or will have at "Best" a Net 0 Impact.

Yesterday I was talking about how 60% of Organizations are looking to use "Etiquette Classes" for ALL of their Employees.

But as I mentioned then, it won't create any Impact.

It doesn't solve ANY of the inherent Problems we've seen above.

Then you look at things like Return-To-Office Mandates where, again, the arguments don't make ANY sense.

I've written quite a few articles over the past Year that dive into ALL of the reasons these Return-To-Office Mandates make no Sense.

None of the "Arguments" for it match any of the Real Data.

All of the "Research" used to "Support" Return-To-Office Mandates is being Mis-Read, Mis-Used, and just doesn't match the overall Trends.

On top of this, there have been MAJOR Benefits to Remote-Work that have helped IMPROVE Productivity and Wellness that these Organizations are shooting themselves in the foot by not seeing.

By not being IN-OFFICE, there has been less Exposure to Dis-Stress from others (which is passed via Neurocardiology), fewer Distractions (leading to less wasted Energy/Mg-ATP), and INCREASES in Productivity!

It's the first time we have seen PROGRESS on this in DECADES!

But, with these Mandates, all of that Progress will quickly be Lost, and we will see the Problems continue to downward spiral.

I understand that none of these Methods to "Improve" the Workplace are doing anything!

I agree!

These are ALL Failing to create Results!

But becoming Desperate isn't going to solve anything either!

If we want to Solve the Problems we are seeing, we need a new Paradigm.

We can't use Old Thinking that didn't have to take into Consideration the Real Problems of Today's World.

If we want to make Progress, we need a Different Solution.

Where To Turn To Next?

So where do we turn to as Leaders?

Well, there are a few aspects we need to take into account.

First, we need to Recognize that the Problem is with Leadership and we need to STOP blaming Employees.

Blaming Employees for the Problems we see is Counter-Productive and doesn't help Leaders.

Continuing to Blame them will only make YOUR Efforts MORE difficult as a Leader.

You need your Employees to be on YOUR side, and by Blaming them for Problems that are NOT their Fault, you automatically put them AGAINST you in ALL of your Efforts.

There is no Winning when you do this.

Then, we need to understand that our Solution exists by properly understanding Psychophysiology.

We need to FIX Burnout if we want to Succeed.

To Fix Burnout, we need to Reduce overall Dis-Stress, Improve Energy (Mg-ATP) Production and Utilization, and then Focus on Flow States.

ANYTHING that does not attain this end is a Distraction that will continually set you Back Further.

Then, we need to create Solutions that Improve the World.

Solutions need to positively Impact Leaders, Organizations, Employees, Customers, and the World at large.

This creates a REAL Purpose that people already WANT to Buy Into.

When you have REAL Purpose, you don't need to "convince" Employees to Buy Into anything!

The technical word for this is "Regenerative" Solutions, which those who have "started" Efforts toward this have already found is MORE Profitable for them to pursue.

However, looking at the current Solutions, they have not gone far enough, and have only Improved "some" of the areas that need to be Impacted.

Then, we also need our Solutions to be Tailored to Individuals.

The Days of "One-Size-Fits-All" Solutions in Business is Dead.

There are simply too many Nuances for it to work in the long term.

So, what is it we need?

Leadership Cultivation where Leaders Design a Regenerative Legacy.

Leaders need to be Cultivated based on their Skills, Abilities, and Strengths with a Focus on the specific Psychophysiological Challenges of their Positions.

The Leaders also need to be pushing Organizations toward Solutions that are Regenerative for everyone involved, increasing Energy (Mg-ATP) instead of pushing further into Burnout.

These Solutions also need to be Long-Lasting, creating Future Results, which is why they need to become a Legacy Solution.

The Reality is that our current Solutions to fixing the World are too Slow.

Companies are "Kicking the Can" down the line, but there's nowhere left to kick it.

Instead of Driving the Change, they are purposefully slowing down Progress.

At the end of the day, it will be their Undoing.

People want Change, the World NEEDS Change and the Organizations that DRIVE that Change will Dominate the Future.

Those who don't will become Artifacts of the Past, just as we see with all Companies that Fail to Understand the Future.

But the key will be that the ENTIRE Business Model needs to be Regenerative.

It isn't enough for the "Product" or "Service" to be Regenerative.

That is why we are seeing many supposedly "Regenerative" companies Struggle right now.

They may have their Regenerative "Product" and "Service", but are Failing to Create a "Regenerative Workforce" or be a source of "Regeneration" for their Customers.

The Companies of the Future need to be FULLY Regenerative.

We need to Design a Regenerative Legacy.

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About the Creator

Cody Dakota Wooten, C.B.C.

Creator of the Multi-Award-Winning Category "Legendary Leadership" | Faith, Family, Freedom, Future | The Legendary Leadership Coach, Digital Writer (450+ Articles), & Speaker


[email protected]

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