Jun 29, 2017

Leading Into the Unknown – Part II

Robert Harding World Imagery

In the first post about Leading into the Unknown, I discussed three areas where leaders must excel; being authentic, having physical and psychological stamina, and being adaptable in their thinking. Now, consider three more areas that are imperative for leaders to flourish in today’s ever-changing world.

The ability to inspire –

The days of positional power is quickly fading away, just like the red “Power Tie” and blue suit from the ’80’s. Positional power can only take a company so far. Just this week, one of the up-and-coming superstars in the business world, Travis Kalanick of Uber, fell from grace for apparently that reason, and more. People no longer put up with being bullied by those in Leadership positions, or should I say Management positions, because “leadership” implies that people are influenced and inspired to willingly follow.

I’ve interacted with this dying breed of high-level executive who believe they already have all the answers; they don’t read any books, whitepapers, or other new research. They dominate conversations and cut others off because their time is more important, they already know everything, so don’t waste their time by sharing any new or alternative views. And, don’t try to tell them things have changed, they won’t listen, anyway.

These executives don’t concern me as far as interacting with me. They aren’t the kind of people I work with. I can’t help someone if they already have all the answers. It does concern me, however, that the people they work with feel disparaged, deflated, and unimportant…UNINSPIRED!

Conversely, think about those in history that were known as great leaders and what caused them to become recognized as such. In this list, you may not agree with some of their philosophies or end results, but that they were great leaders is self-evident; Jesus Christ, Mohammad, Alexander the Great, Christopher Columbus, and Aristotle, to name just a few.

Each had clarity of vision. More important, they were able to communicate that vision so that others clearly understood it. Their influencing skills were well-known. Interestingly, through advances in technology, Neuroscience has learned over the last decade that people really do emit an “aura” which is perceived by people before a word is spoken. People can “sense” the intent of other people. And, if they pay close attention, they can sense if the words a person is speaking aligns with their unconscious communication, their true intent. The great leaders I mentioned obviously emitted good intent. They followed up their vision by making decisions and behaving congruently with that vision. This resulted in creating trust and credibility so that people followed them to the end of the world and even death. To put it succinctly, they INSPIRED people! They breathed life into the people they led, instead of draining it out of them.

A passion for learning –

When it comes to learning, are you green and growing or ripe and rotten? Are you depending on past knowledge to sustain you? Yesterday’s thinking and beliefs got you to where you are today. It will not successfully take you into the future because the world is changing faster than ever before. Just look at what recently happened in the grocery industry. Literally overnight, Amazon set the dominant players on their head; Kroger, Albertsons, and others. All of their stock prices dropped significantly in reaction to Amazon’s purchase of Whole Foods. Amazon’s stock gained enough in the same day to pay for their purchase. How were the leaders of the industry caught off-guard? Their thinking was stuck in “the way it’s always been done”.

Leaders are constantly looked to for advice, decisions, counseling of all types, psychology, and more. This isn’t a sign of weakness. It’s a sign of humbly recognizing that it’s impossible for one person to know everything about anything. If you aren’t constantly and consistently filling your reservoir of knowledge, you will soon become empty, outdated, and irrelevant.

Being collaborative –

You can’t know, or be an expert, in everything. It’s impossible to know everything about anything, especially with the pace knowledge and change are taking place. So, Leaders look to surround themselves with people that are smarter than they are and that have complimentary talents and skills. Being willing and able to collaborate through strong interpersonal skills and express thoughts, beliefs and, yes, feelings, in a manner that drives creativity and innovation are tools leaders must use to meet the pace of change. As you’ve no doubt read, Emotional Intelligence is a far more results-producing, bottom-line driving characteristic than IQ or high-ego.

How will you use these six tips to be successful in leading into the unknown, keeping up with the speed of change in business? Please feel free to request a very simple self-assessment by clicking HERE.

Be honest with yourself on how you’re doing in each of the six areas discussed in the two-part series “Leading into the Unknown”. If you want to take a deeper dive into knowing how you’re doing in those areas, have some peers, direct reports and the person you report to fill it out on how they think you’re doing. Then, compare how you rated yourself with how the others rated you. It may be eye-opening!

Request my Special Report The Ultimate Business Trifecta today: http://trans-think.com/UltimateBusinessTrifecta

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+++++++++++++++About Dr. Edward Lewellen++++++++++++++++

Dr. Edward Lewellen is an expert in creating methodologies for people to learn to use their mind; their beliefs, thoughts, and behaviors, and put them back in control of their lives and become top-producers. He is a Master Executive Coach, leadership and sales expert, and keynote speaker for some of the largest global organizations.

Author of The 90-Second Mind Manager