The skills and approaches that will guide leaders through a journey of expanded influence are known and learnable. These aspects can be found in the research on high-performing organizations and the research on neuroscience. This research is now becoming clear with regard to how a leader’s engagement style can be quantified through performance measures. While there are many correlations to success in emotional intelligence for leaders, we start with two fundamental differences in approach.
The first perspective is one of self-preservation. This makes a leader conservative and cautious. The primary aspects you will see from this perspective are related to control and predictability. These leaders want to be able to repeatedly and reliably replicate the past and thereby produce stability. The strategies at play with this perspective tend to be slow to change and quite risk-averse.
Second, we can operate from a perspective of self-realization. Leaders in this mode are far more experimental and innovative. These leaders tend to become skeptical of previously used strategies and tend to want to leverage them into new ways of operating or achieving new goals. These leaders are change ready and willing to take risks. They tend to not feel a strong linkage to or need for authority, and they tend to question the value of stability.
In The Heart of the Soul, Gary Zuckav brings this down to much simpler terms. He states (and I firmly believe) that we are, at all times, either acting from “love and trust” (self-realization) or “fear and doubt” (self-preservation). This is probably the most basic component of our work. Through this, we work with inspiration, helping leaders connect to the deeper parts of themselves. From there, we take action on that inspiration, in an intentional and connected way. This work will help leaders understand those callings and teach them how to move those ideas into action in ways that support large-scale organization change.
To learn more read The Executives Guide to Transformational vs. Transactional Leadership