“The leader needs three intellectual abilities that may not be assessed in an academic way: one needs to have a sense for the unknowable, to be prepared for the unexpected, and to be able to foresee the unforeseeable,” so says Robert Greenleaf in his book The Power of Servant Leadership.
Sounds like a tall order, almost like a description of a super hero right out of the comic book pages. But a second reading reveals that at sometime in all of our lives we are that super hero.
Who are you leading? A company department, a small business, your family, yourself? Your ability, and your willingness to step up, trust your intuition and make a decision for you and those who look to you for direction defines your leadership.
Ralph Waldo Emerson talks of a ‘Blessed Impulse’, listening to that inner voice and going with it, all voices to the contrary. Is that the still small voice, the almost silent whisper that we grow to trust to be God whispering in our ear? How often do you ‘go with it, all other voices to the contrary’?
Taking leadership, regardless of the position you hold, requires a certain amount of abandonment. Taking a risk. In so many places people are looking for (someone else) to step up and lead. Scientist Mathilde Krim said “Growth requires curiosity to experience both the difference and the synchrony, to explore and immerse yourself in new surroundings, to be able to contemplate your experiences and get something out of them”. To simplify: doing the same old same old every day, not experiencing new things, not asking questions and not reflecting and learning from your experiences will stunt your growth. It will also block your leadership opportunities.
And leadership is anything but the same old same old. Greenleaf tells us: Every once in a while a leader finds himself needing to think like a scientist, an artist, or a poet. And his thought processes may be just as fanciful as theirs – and as fallible. Leaders are not superheros, they make mistakes, but they are willing to make mistakes, show their humanness and fully express themselves in the process.
Emotional Intelligence – how’s yours?
Walter Bennis in the introduction of his book On Becoming a Leader lists the Four Essential Competencies of a Leader.
- The ability to engage others by creating shared meaning
- Having a distinctive voice
- Having integrity
- The ability of adaptive capacity
Having a Distinctive Voice is further described as a cluster of traits such as Purpose, Self-Confidence, and a Sense of Self. He then adds “the whole gestalt of abilities that we now call Emotional Intelligence. EI is a concept that has been around a relatively short time and one I am still trying to get my arms around. Look up Emotional Intelligence on Google and as expected you get 8.5 million sites.
One site says “ Emotional Intelligence is the ability to understand other people and yourself.”
Another site tells us ” In summary, emotional intelligence is the ability to sense, understand, and effectively apply the power and acumen of emotions as a source of human energy, information, connection and influence. The following skills belong to the highly developed emotional intelligence: independence from your own feelings and ability to adjust yourself to them, ability to recognize, name and direct your feelings, discern the nuances of feelings and use them in positive way, and, as a consummation, derive actions from it. Emotional intelligence accompanies our daily life and in many cases as important as the “common” intelligence, especially in our modern society.”
The Four Branches of Emotional Intelligence
Perceiving Emotions: The ability to perceive emotions in oneself and others as well as in objects, art, stories, music, and other stimuli
Facilitating Thought: The ability to generate, use, and feel emotion as necessary to communicate feelings or employ them in other cognitive processes
Understanding Emotions: The ability to understand emotional information, to understand how emotions combine and progress through relationship transitions, and to appreciate such emotional meanings
Managing Emotions: The ability to be open to feelings, and to modulate them in oneself and others so as to promote personal understanding and growth
*From “Mayer-Salovey-Caruso Emotional Intelligence Test (MSCEIT), by J. D. Mayer, P. Salovey, and D. R. Caruso, 2002, Toronto, Ontario: Multi-Health Systems, Inc.
Our first lesson from this important book of leadership is that authentic leaders are in touch with both their own emotions and feelings as well as the people they serve and lead. Consider that truth, whether you lead a large organization, a small business, a family or yourself. Your ability to recognize how you feel, why you feel, and what to do with your feelings (positive constructive actions or negative destructive reactions) will play a big part in your leadership efficacy.
We are meeting as a small group of Life Long Learners reading, discussing and teaching one another from this book. Learn more by clicking here: http://livingreal.net/on-becoming-a-leader-book-club/
Words are powerful. They can be used to impress, persuade, seduce, incite and deflate. We’ve all used words to convince others, get what we want and influence the situation.
While I love the power that words have I am not overly impressed when someone uses a ten dollar word when a couple of simpler, more common words would do the job. Let me correct that. When I have to stop my reading to find out the meaning of a word, I realize that the writer stopped their writing to refer to a thesaurus in order to find this word only for me to reverse the process. But a person whose normal mode of speaking includes many multiple syllable words – well, that is impressive.
I’ll take this blog space to offer a couple power words, hoping you might add some of your own and then I’ll plan on adding more later.
characterized by great knowledge; learned or scholarly: an erudite professor; an erudite commentary. Synonyms: educated, knowledgeable; wise, sapient.
Which requires another look up of Sapient to satisfy the curiosity –
having or showing great wisdom or sound judgment.
Would you describe yourself as erudite or sapient?
Conversation on WHAT EVERY MAN NEEDS TO KNOW
Your thoughts and opinions are welcomed and encouraged here. No judgments no right or wrong. How do you feel about your ability to response honestly to the questions about Where you come from, Where are you at Right Now, Where are you going, Your Friends and Your Gifts?
Comment below, and thank you
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