The world has changed and with it the way leaders lead also needs to change.
We’ve moved from the era of manufacturing to being knowledge-based. This impacts leadership. As such there’s a critical gap as leadership hasn’t quite bridged how to lead in a knowledge-based environment. And using tools prevalent in the manufacturing times simply don’t work anymore. Coupled with this is the fact that employees, as people, have and are changing.
The gap as we see it in leadership presently stems from the perspective of how leaders view their teams. What matters is viewing them as people and their development as a priority. However what happens is that leaders tend to defer to shareholders and shareholders aren’t into leadership. Their interest is the bottom-line. And shareholders believe caring about workers is going to cost them money. Instead of understanding that there is a better way of managing people that’s behavioral based and one that would get them better returns.
Now we see change in leadership coming through, not top-down, but bottom up. Employees are not sticking around when they aren’t getting respected and appreciated.
This is the catalyst that brings forth the need to lead from the heart.
And the heart has a mind!
As an author, I reflected back on what I had done in leading people and the insight was that I was touching hearts.
That validation happened when speaking to a world-renowned cardiologist who confirmed the science of communication between the heart and the mind. The research shows up that the heart has it own form of intelligence and is responsible for the feelings we feel and drives our behaviour.
A key research fact in the book talks about 75% of employees stating their stress is from the interaction with their boss. Whilst the same group states they like the work they do. So the interaction bit gets isolated and is identified as the cause. Looking at this objectively, leaders don’t take into account how they make employees feel. This is a lack of sensitivity. Secondly, it’s often perceived that the role of a manager is to find fault. Which results in an employee feeling horrible.
These two examples highlight the necessity of having a new orientation. One where the leader or manager is more of a coach. When one sees oneself as a coach one becomes an advocate for people and doesn’t criticize.
This brings forth the bit about having positive energy. It’s what helps one be more productive. In summary, if the attitude is right, it creates a happier feeling that drives productivity. Human beings are hardwired to thrive on positive energy.
The tip here is to listen more to your heart and not stay with the thoughts in your mind. Now when we hire people we’re looking for brain smarts and nothing about the heart or feelings. We are now learning that there are two forms of intelligence. The heart is where intuition comes from. And the heart always looks out for what’s good for you.