Connected Leadership

by | Jul 25, 2014 | Articles

The Emotionally Intelligent, Connected Leader

Simon Hayward, CEO, Cirrus,and Dr Martyn Newman, Executive Director, RocheMartin, write for Training Journal.

Has leadership ever been more complex? Although the economy is recovering, we still live in uncertain, unpredictable times. Markets are volatile. Customers are increasingly discerning: If they’re not happy, they’ll let the world know via social media. There has been a widespread erosion of trust.  Organisations everywhere need to become more agile in order to cope with the changing demands of our unpredictable world.  Leaders are being forced to change, and the old style of command and control leadership just doesn’t cut it any more.  We all need to work in a more joined up way – to be more connected.

So how can leaders become more connected? We believe it is critical to communicate a clear direction, purpose and values to engage employees inside the organisation as well as customers beyond it.  Leaders can achieve this if they lead through influence rather than control, and devolve decision-making across organisations.  This relies on effective communication and connection across the organisation based on a consistent set of assumptions. We also need to look at connection on a very human level – how can leaders use their emotional intelligence alongside their strategic nous to build meaningful and productive relationships?

Instead of organisations creating more controls (and the associated bureaucracy) to become more connected, many want to create a more empowered environment and a new level of simplicity. This in turn requires a high degree of trust among people in the organisation – trust that each person and team will play a part in the process, and trust that each person and team will seek what’s best for the whole business based on a shared purpose.  Emotional intelligence is key to building this trust and cutting through complexity.  In our experience, many organisations aspire to building critical connections that work seamlessly, based on goodwill and shared expectations of a successful future.  Simpler, more straightforward, trustworthy and connected companies? More and more, that’s what leaders, employees and customers want to see.

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