Here are 5 things that successful leaders know about leadership that make us want to follow them:
The one crippling behavior that will cause you failure in leadership and in life, (and by life, I mean as a partner, a parent, a friend etc.) is the lack of empathy.
Empathy, which is a cornerstone of emotional intelligence, specifically social awareness, is often misunderstood as sharing other people’s emotions and concerns and caring deeply about them. That innate caring and concern is more representative of compassion.
90% of the problems that leaders face, and their subsequent solutions, are ambiguous, according to a study done by Korn Ferry/Lominger. To deal with this ambiguity requires spaciousness in thinking and being. It is not about always having the answer and proving to be the smartest person in the room. Rather, it requires having humility and respect for the responsibility of creating an environment where people can learn to think, innovate and problem solve successfully while navigating through the unknown.
“My Religion is very simple. My religion is kindness.” The Dalai Lama
Kindness is a leadership characteristic that will deliver financial and humanitarian returns beyond imagination. It helps us create work environments that are based on trust and that allow people to express and experience meaning and purpose at work.
Einstein believed that God’s thoughts were accessible and that he could hear them if he got himself into a certain state of mind, the mind of imagination. When he said that imagination is more important than knowledge, my guess is that he came to that insight after he experienced what many of us have experienced: Knowledge can only take us so far.
Our lives are a series of relationships, the success or failure of which happens one conversation at a time. The same is true for our organizations. The quality of the conversations that executive teams have among themselves will either help their organization succeed, under-perform or potentially fail.
From Interview To Conversation
I’ve been doing quite a bit of career coaching in the last three years, particularly working with people on developing their professional brand and their go-to market strategy.
When I coach my clients on how to be their best in interviews the intention is to transform the interview into a conversation. A conversation is when people, either one-on-one or in the case of panel interviews one-on-many, show up on equal ground to talk about problems that need to be solved, skills required and potential partnerships/opportunities to be had.
For 25 years my husband has been teasing me about my inability to take a decent nap. He can take a nap anywhere, anytime. The usual scenario for us is that we lie down and within two minutes he is sound asleep and snoring. Within five minutes I am twitching with restlessness. Within six minutes my mind has turned into a roller coaster of thoughts about what I should be doing, what I have forgotten to do, what I am worried about doing or not doing and a thousand “what ifs” that torture me unmercifully. In the meantime my husbands slumber continues and the deeper his innocent and effortless sleep goes the more agitated I get. Not just because he is right, I can’t take a decent nap, but because I want to and I haven’t been able to figure out why I can’t!
I broadened my practice two years ago to include coaching young professionals. It has opened my eyes and invigorated me in ways I never dreamed.
Most of you know that I am a self-described human potential junkie. I am possessed when it comes to wanting to support individuals and organizations in developing leadership capability. And I have to be candid, this passion collides head-on with how I see the media disrespecting this generation and writing about them with such gloom and doom. After complaining about it to anyone who would listen, I finally realized I had to put up or shut up. That is when I started coaching millennials and I am more excited about the leadership future of this world than I have been in a very long time.
According to Korn/Ferry’s For Your Improvement, 90% of the problems and challenges that leaders from the middle level up through executive level face are characterized as “ambiguous”, meaning that it is neither clear what the problem is nor what the solution is.