The New Economic Currency – Authentic Leadership and Emotional Intelligence

The New Economic Currency – Authentic Leadership and Emotional Intelligence
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Sunday, 13 July 2014

 

The IQ and EQ to Succeed

An important lesson you learn quickly in business.  Which people are you going to back? Do their roles fit their abilities? Do they have both the IQ and EQ to succeed?

Bill Gates and Warren Buffet

There is nothing in the world that has a more profound impact, for better and worse, on authentic leadership than emotional intelligence. Yet, many practice leadership from an external locus of control, something one imposes upon others, something that exists to fulfill the need to manage, direct, and organize people toward a common goal. 

Real leadership however, in its most effective form, inspires and motivates people. It is 'authentic Leadership'. To celebrate one's unique and authentic self, with the goal of serving and inspiring others - this is possibly the most liberating discovery a developing leader can make. Authentic leadership is self-empowering, yielding greater personal and organizational results.

Discovering Authentic Leadership and Emotional Intelligence

Good leaders are strong communicators, motivate people, and are able to transform conflict into a positive force moving toward the goal. They can also have a stabilizing effect during turbulent times. But today that's simply the employment prerequisite in many organizations. Even high achievers can often be leaving results on the table because they are missing out on several critical ingredients. Honesty and compassion are two of them that can make an overwhelming difference.

What does emotionally intelligent authentic leadership look like and how is it different?

Authentic leadership isn't some kind of "strategy du jour" for modern leaders, it has always existed.  Looking closely at well-known leaders in history, we can spot some of the truly successful ones who developed an ability to empathize, who sought to first understand rather than be understood, and who always maintained a strong value system that was transparent and respected. These leaders embodied the elements of an exceptional leader whose words, actions and results are an inspirational example of the best leadership can be: the highest level of integrity and fairness; compassion, empathy and understanding; empowering and encouraging; clearly articulating what is expected; holding others accountable for their own actions.

These are traits of an authentic, emotionally-intelligent leader, one who understands that people always want to know how much you care, one who understands that results come from people, not memos and directives.

The idea of being true to oneself is not new, Shakespeare wrote about it long ago. But our world's modern day leadership often reflects yesterday's approach as we struggle to shake the leadership hangover from the past. By rejecting the power-based win-lose "carrot and stick" leadership that much of our world is still unconsciously practicing, we can begin to be true to ourself and achieve greater results. The payoff is huge. 

Awareness of what's holding you back

Developing a high level of awareness of what's truly holding us back helps pave the way for incredible results that all of us are capable of. In my executive coaching practice, I use a system, the Master of Business Leadership system (MBL) that ‘peels back the layers’ of how we look at ourselves and others and reveals the ‘many stories we tell ourselves’. These self-fulfilling stories are fuelled by the fear, habits and perceptions that we individually harbor but which we are mostly unaware of. Once we become aware of those fears, habits, and perceptions, as well as the walls we build around ourselves as a result, we open the door to full engagement in all aspects of our lives.

The wood/heat syndrome

This is a basic and powerful philosophy: 'If you want more, give more'. This is tied into the concept that teamwork and relationships cannot be 'conditional', and it turns 'carrot and stick' management on its head. The "I'll give you wood if you give me heat" syndrome doesn't work - by giving the wood rather than asking for heat, conflict often melts away and forward momentum is sustained. I have personally embraced this approach and it has had a significant impact on numerous relationships resulting in remarkable breakthroughs.

The toxic leader

At some point in our careers we all have or will likely come into contact with the 'Toxic Leader'. This is the person who is wrestling internally with so much fear that they simply poison the organization with their habits and actions. It would be easy simply to avoid these people, but often we have no choice but to face them. By lowering our own walls and focusing on what's really important, we become authentic and it's the best way to engage the toxic leader. It frustrates them of course, they want desperately to steal everyone's energy and encourage others to also become the victims that they already are. These types usually leave the organization once the culture turns against them, but until that happens they act as an obstacle to achieving high performance results. Being better prepared to deal with the ‘toxic leader’ using emotional intelligence and authenticity helps us avoid becoming a victim, both of our own self-doubt and of those who masquerade as real leaders.

Most people want to have a meaningful impact within our organizations and communities. The truth is that results come from people, and people that are fully engaged deliver better results. Engaged people are those that are highly motivated and truly inspired by authentic leadership. The MBL system is a unique and brilliantly straightforward approach to leadership that will raise your awareness of what may be holding you back and help you strive to be the only emotionally intelligent authentic leader you should ever be waiting for - You!

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Yep, thats pritty much it in my view.. Leaders will have no true following and thus no true success when people are involved out of motives other then committment. Money, job security and material promises buy you an audience, not a following... In such a situation, tapping into the potential of people is basically impossible...
Last replied by John Mulhall on Tuesday, 23 December 2014
Unlocking the Energy…Yet Another Job for Leaders by Gwyn Teatro Frances Hesselbein once said, “the Leader’s job, after all, is not to provide energy but to release it from others” Admittedly, the initial image that popped into my head, on reading that quote, was a bit bizarre. (I’ll spare you the details). And, I thought that Ms Hesselbein’s remark was not quite right or perhaps an oversimplification of a very difficult job. But then I wondered. What does it actually take for people to unlock hidden reservoirs of energy from others and have them use it willingly in the accomplishment of great work? As a matter of fact what does it take to make me give my best? So I had a little think about it and here’s what I came up with. First, give me something I can relate to and believe in. For me, work transcends into something meaningful when I know why it’s important and the part I have to play is equally important. If I can feel that importance, then I stop thinking about it as work and start thinking about it as contribution, which to me, is something I do by choice. Second, work with me. I don’t mean that you should do the work I’m doing or be there every minute. No, I mean, talk to me from time to time. Let me know I’m on the right track and if I’m not, help me to make adjustments. Tell me what I need to do, or be, to succeed. Let me know you’re interested in what I’m doing. And yes, occasionally, roll up your sleeves and work alongside me. That will help me to build my sense of common purpose. As well, I seem to have more energy when I feel that the work I do is important enough for you to pitch in from time to time. Third, please Don’t Hover There is a fine line between working with me and hovering over me. If I satisfy your need to know that I know what I’m doing, then let me get on with it. If you hover, you can be sure that my energy level will plummet pretty fast. On the other hand, I can get pretty stoked when I know that you trust me to do my part without having to give me constant direction. Fourth, give value to my contribution There is nothing more energizing to me than being acknowledged for doing my job well. It doesn’t have to be a big deal but from time to time, I need to know that what I’m doing is appreciated and valued. Fifth, and finally, (at least for now), help me to make my work life fun. I don’t expect you to be a constant source of entertainment. I know there is serious work to be done. But at work, as in life, there are, well, absurdities that just need to be laughed at. I have so much energy when I can laugh in the company of my colleagues. It breaks any tension that might be hanging around and really helps me to keep a healthy perspective when I need it. So that’s it for now, from me anyway. What about you? What turns you into the Energizer Bunny?
Last replied by Frederick Reynecke on Sunday, 21 December 2014
I agree to a point. Every great leader should allow constructive dissent and every team that is tasked with functional and/or project work will need to trust in their leadership before they can be effectively led to their potential. This means using emotional intelligence, collaborative awareness and situational leadership in order to move foward in the group/team tasks as one functional unit.
Last replied by John Mulhall on Monday, 29 September 2014
Last replied by syed akif on Wednesday, 17 September 2014