Some of the current concepts in leadership may sound like we're discussing gymnasts, not executives. This is because four steps any executive can take to improve leadership qualities sound like the purview of Olympians: gaining flexibility, getting a massage, learning to be agile, and changing your routine.
Heraclitus may have been the original leader of change management. He said, around 500 BCE, “The only constant is change.” Today’s leaders have to not only accept change, but embrace it and lead their organizations through constantly changing circumstances. Three qualities needed to accomplish this are resilience, perseverance and scale.
Mirrors are generally coated with only a 100-nanometer-thick layer of aluminum or silver, but are excellent at helping you search deeply within yourself. Executive coaching’s main benefit, according to most CEOs, is this self-reflection. The guided self-discovery provides clarity and helps the executive to focus energy.
No business leader today can operate at full productivity without a sense of, as emotional intelligence's godfathers, Salovey and Mayer, put it, “the effective regulation of emotion in self and others.” Four key ways to use this powerful tool in the workplace are to hire effectively, address conflict, honor differ
Confidence is contagious. Great leaders know that they must themselves be confident in their work and vision, but they must also help their employees to feel confident in their own work. Managers control power; great leaders empower others, consciously sharing power to others so that the leader’s work becomes less burdensome and the organization benefits from many sources of original thinking.
Understanding the nuances of psychology is an invaluable business coaching skill for today’s leaders. Though many of us lack the formal training to use psychology to address genuine mental health concerns, a bit of basic psychology can be helpful in dealing with followers and employees. It is often key to unlocking their potential.
A good leader can set the tone for an entire project, or even a whole business. Their behavior sets expectations and standards for the rest of the team. As a leader, maintaining awareness of your behavior and ensuring that it stays consistent helps to stabilize the work and goals of the project.
Leadershipis not management. Compassion is not weakness. Too often we use negatives to frame positives, as a way to eliminate non-examples. The effect may increase our clarity, but it often puts a heavy penalty on the very thing we want to amplify. Machines, time, and animals can be managed, but people must be led.
Among C-suites, return on investment (ROI) drives a majority of decisions. So the thoughtful leader may be challenged to defend investment in emotional intelligence to the CFO or others. What will you have to show for building skills in emotional intelligence among key employees, or for yourself?
The universe operates at two scales: microscopic and macroscopic. If you are presented two pictures without context, you could be challenged to distinguish between something infinitesimally small or monumentally large. Try this for yourself. This is not a question of vision—you can see the field clearly—or even perspective (you are towering over the field, an omniscient presence), but of context.