A leader’s capacity for change and development can be affected by what we refer to as their ‘psychological operating system’ (POS).
The POS acts as an interface between our ‘hardware’ (brain, body, nervous system) and ‘software’ (thoughts, feelings, perceptions, emotions). It assigns meaning to these software programmes, based, for example, on defensive patterns, unconscious biases, unresolved conflicts and internalised anxieties and fears.
Running on mental ‘scripts’, the POS is often influenced by an individual’s early relationships and significant life experiences. The behaviour patterns laid down by these scripts have a habit of repeating themselves in other contexts. They can become unhelpful, blocking effective performance and even sabotaging a leader’s reputation along the way.
From a coaching perspective, breakthroughs in performance can only arise from working at depth with such issues. Without support to install ‘updates’ to the leader’s POS, any change will inevitably be cosmetic and unsustainable.