The Success Intelligence JournalA place where we share with you news of book releases, media appearances, featured friends, and what is inspiring the team right now.
There are four key areas which I believe are at the heart of real leadership:
1. Physical Leadership. The CEO at a company I work with talks about the ‘leaders walk’. He encourages his people to be very conscious about the way they ‘show up’ and to think about how they come across. This point was highlighted to me when I was working with a high performing team and people started talking about the senior leader of their division. What transpired was this guy sat on the left hand-side of the office. Each day he would use his side of the office to walk to and from his desk to the lift, bathroom and generally get around. However, the people on the right hand side of the office felt left out. In order to really make his physical presence felt, he needed to change his ‘leaders walk’, and make sure that he included the right-hand side of the office. Real leaders recognise that a small act makes a big difference.
2. Emotional Leadership. I’ve had the privilege of running the senior leadership development programme for InterContinental Hotels Group over the last 4 years called Leading with Purpose. We always start the event by asking people, ‘Who is your most admired leader, and why?’ 98% of responses from over 400 leaders across the world describe emotional capabilities such as; the ability to be open and honest, communicating with passion, having great resilience, being humble and inspiring others to act. Research shows that once you reach a certain point of recognition in your career, the defining factor that enables you to progress is the degree to which you are able to engage with people on an emotional level. One leader I worked with demonstrated a high level of emotional sensitivity. He made a habit of when someone achieved a notable success to send a personalised ‘thank you’ card to their home address. On one occasion he did this with an Engineer who was an ex-Marine and a tough guy. Having sent the card he was confronted by this employee coming into his office in a manner that left the manager convinced he was going to be beaten up. In fact what happened was the Engineer broke down in tears and said that he had never received a personalised thank you and it had made him feel really valued.
3. Thought Leadership. One of our favourite mantras at Success Intelligence is that ‘Leaders are not paid to be busy, they are paid to think.’ Although people always agree in principle when we share this idea, it doesn’t stop them from keeping too busy. Real leaders ensure that they carve out time to think in order to address a whole variety of challenges such as defining success, strengthening relationships, prioritising workload, communicating clearly. We firmly believe that if you are too busy, you are too busy; therefore real leadership is the ability to stop unnecessary busyness and start necessary thinking.
4. Inspirational Leadership. One of the most exciting projects that Success Intelligence is currently engaged with is running the largest leadership programme in the history of Heinz UK&I called Game-Changing Leadership. Involving 1000 leaders across the business we kicked-off with a company event in which we asked people what is the number 1 quality they look for in leaders. The overwhelming answer was inspiration. However, we believe that in order to inspire others you need to be inspired. Ask yourself, ‘What inspires you?’ Real leaders make sure that they place personal inspiration at the heart of their work and lives in order to authentically inspire others.