“If you are a good leader, people will respect and admire you. If you are a great leader, people will respect and admire themselves” (Unknown)
Leaders that resonate with their subordinates with respect to the very essence of being human matters more than anything else along the journey into the future. The old model of leadership had a functional focus, one without regard to the emotional or personal dimension; people were seen as interchangeable parts. Such impersonal leadership hopelessly fails today. As Daniel Goleman, et al (Primal Leadership) notes: “Resonant leaders shatter the old leadership mould that was cast in the image of the captains of industry, those old-fashioned lead-from-the-top figures of authority who led largely by virtue of the power of their position.”
Of late, the greatest leaders lead not through positional power alone, but through succeeding in the art of relationship, the singular skill that the changing business environment renders indispensable. Goleman notes further: “Leadership excellence is being redefined in interpersonal terms as companies strip out layers of managers, as corporations merge across national boundaries, and as customers and suppliers redefine the web of connection. Resonant leaders know when to be collaborative and when to be visionary, when to listen and when to command. Such leaders have a knack for attuning to their own sense of what matters and articulating a mission that resonates with the values of those they lead. These leaders naturally nurture relationships, surface simmering issues, and create the human synergies of a group in harmony. They build a fierce loyalty by caring about the careers of those who work for them and inspire people to give their best for a mission that speaks to shared values.”
Emotional intelligence for the leader means doing each of these at the right time, in the right way, with the right people. This kind of leadership creates an environment of keenness and flexibility, one where employees are called to be at their most creative, where they give their very best. Such a work environment, bearing in mind today’s business realities, creates added value through the essential human ingredients for organisational performance.
As Goleman expresses insightfully: “Such leaders are more values-driven, more flexible and informal, and more open and franker than leaders of old. They are more connected to people and to networks. Most especially, they exude resonance: They have genuine passion for their mission, and that passion is contagious. Their enthusiasm and excitement spread spontaneously, invigorating those they lead. And resonance is the key to primal leadership.”
For the leader, resonating with employees emotionally releases a reservoir of positivity that engenders creativity, innovation, and loyalty from your staff.