Leadership - Are You So Busy Driving, That...

Leaders in an organization always wear two hats. That of a Leader and of a Manager. As a manager, they need to consistently juggle many balls in the air (sometimes just too many balls.) They have to be on top of the "going ons" and make sure that they deliver on the expectations of many many stakeholders. As a leader, they need to make sure that their organizations not only do the right things, but do it in the right way.

Leadership & Organizational Climate

Many recent studies in the field of neuroscience have begun to explain the role of a leader in shaping how his / her organization behaves. There are studies that show the impact of a leader on the climate of his team and the direct impact a positive or negative climate has on positive or negative performance of the team members.

So what makes some leaders successful. What makes some leaders admirable and some not. What makes some leaders so amiable that people want to follow them - sometimes to the end of the world. What makes some leaders face adversity in ways that just stabilizes every one, while some leader literally blow their lids sending every one in to panic.

Most leadership qualities be it influencing others, resilience, collaboration, empathy, decision making, purposefulness, perseverance, connecting with people are influenced by their emotional intelligence.

Emotional Intelligence - Know What You Really Want

Emotional intelligence is blending thinking and feeling to make better decisions. It means being aware of what's happening on the emotional front - with you and with others. Acknowledging that and finding a meaningful way to navigate through that. It is the ability to take a pause in the moment to evaluate what's going on inside and to collect yourself before taking the leap. Very recently, I heard this phrase - "Too busy driving that I forgot to fill fuel, forget enjoying the scenery" I could easily draw parallels to the fast paced life that all of us lead. Almost everyone is busy doing things on autopilot that sometimes we aren't even sure why we are doing some of the things that we are doing.

Driven By Sense Of Purpose

One of the signs of an emotionally intelligent leader is being purposeful. One way of being a purposeful leader is to exercise Values based leadership.

Leaders driven by values take pit stops from time to time to evaluate where they are headed. Driven by their value system they put hard checks in place to evaluate what they want to accomplish and put practices in place that allow for them to do course correction. They know, it is important for them to take stock of what's going on. What are their options and to assess, what is it that they really want?

Some times it is interesting to list down what are some of the values that are important to you as a leader. What is it that you want people to notice about your leadership. What is it that will connect you with people. What are the values that will make you a leader worth following.

Values In Action

While it is important to list those values down it is more important to put those values to work. What will put those values to work is if you took on some practices that express those values. Here are some examples:

  • One leader that I know had "connect with people" as a value and he took on a new practice. He took on that, he would take a tour of his office and meet 2 new people from his large and extended team and spend 10 minutes just listening to what they had to say, being really interested.
  • Another leader I knew wanted to work on "people development" and took on mentoring 2 really junior members of his team once a month. He also encouraged all his direct reports to take that practice on.
  • Another example is that of a leader who took on "Up your game" as a value and took on 1 area of his life every week to work on and improved the results in that area. He then shared his success story of the week with his organization and encouraged people to take on that practice. People started restarting hobbies that they had left. Some people cleared up past paperwork. Some cleaned their cars. Soon the entire organization had an air of positivity. People started helping each other. Camaraderie and collaboration increased. Productivity increased, attrition dropped. It was a clear surge forward for the organization.

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About the author

Sanjay Wadhwa

Independently Certified Leadership Trainer


An expert facilitator, trainer, coach and keynote speaker with an experience of over 20 years in enhancing organizational effectiveness by improving people capability.

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