Leadership is learned. We learn our leadership competencies through change. People learn and develop when what they want to change matters deeply and will affect them personally, professionally, or both. In other words, change has to be meaningful to the leader. Leaders can make a big difference when they choose to reach for their personal best, to inspire and energize others, and to call them to action.
- Smart is good enough.
- Your mood does not matter.
- Great leaders thrive on constant pressure.
- Intellectual and technical knowledge are baseline and do not differentiate great leaders. Emotional and social intelligence makes the difference.
- Emotions are contagious, and a leader can create resonance and a climate that supports success or can spread emotions that create an unhealthy and unproductive climate.
- Sacrifice and power stress are inherent in leader’s lives. The best leaders learn to manage them through renewal practices.
Recognizing emotion is a good first step in developing emotional and social intelligence. Once we know what we feel, we need to manage our responses. This is easier said than done, because our brains are hard-wired to help us respond quickly to strong emotional signals. People who resort to anger under pressure or freeze under pressure do not make good leaders. So, as a resonant leader, you need to watch and manage your emotions to control how you affect others.
Emotional self-awareness is the ability to process emotional information quickly and accurately; to understand your emotions and their effects on others. It is a solid foundation that promotes self-confidence. Emotions are contagious; they travel quickly between people. Resonant leaders get results through managing emotions, energy, and relationships, not just from being nice. Research finds that leader’s moods matters most of all. Large groups of people, possibly the entire organization may emulate the leader’s thoughts, beliefs, emotions, and overall mood.
Leaders are facing more and more pressure. Because of this, they are having a hard time sustaining effectiveness over long periods of time. With round-the-clock access to e-mail, phones, video chat, meetings, conferences, training seminars, etc., a leader’s emotional resources are tapped constantly. This is called power stress, which, over time wears leaders down. To cope effectively, leaders must practice hope, mindfulness, and compassion. Living in regular reflection of self, others, and the environment around us while also taking vacations and renewal weekends or breaks, we reconnect with ourselves and those around us. Constantly engaging in hope and compassion we become inspired again, and can then motivate others again.
Thoughts and exercises by Annie McKee, Richard Boyatzis, and Frances Johnston in their book, Becoming a Resonant Leader: Develop Your Emotional Intelligence, Renew Your Relationships, and Sustain Your Effectiveness