Recently I mailed an old colleague, with whom I’d worked closely, asking whether she’d like to meet up for lunch or coffee, to catch up and bounce around professional ideas. This is the reply I received: “I’m so sorry, I literally don’t even have time to eat lunch these days!! So I’ll have to pass on a catch up but I hope you’re well.” Wow, I thought, poor thing, if this literally is the case, I’m worried for her health, and her sanity, and her business.
But “Hang on..“, I hear you say, “..that’s exactly what it’s like for me! I’m running just to keep my head above water, it’s a matter of survival“.
So my question is this. If we literally (!) don’t have time to meet our basic physical needs for food, what chance do we have of making use of that most wonderful and essential organ, our brain, to think well and create wonderfully exciting and innovative solutions for our customers?
Welcome to Part 4 of The Mastery of Leadership , this issue focuses on Mastering Engagement. Whilst engagement is by definition about the external world (The ‘Outside’ bit of Inside-Out leadership), leaders cannot gain full engagement without also paying attention to the ‘inside’ pieces of ‘Mastering Authenticity‘ and ‘Mastering Relationships‘. Benjamin Zander, Conductor at the Boston Philharmonic, said that the most important moment of his career was when he realised that the conductor of an orchestra doesn’t make a sound! He said “The conductor of an orchestra depends for his power on his ability to make other people powerful”. He urges leaders to look first at themselves if they see others demotivated and under-performing. I wonder what our workplaces would be like if our business leaders always did this?
‘Mastering Engagement’ gives more focus to the organisational perspective and how we build motivation and create an effective vision and culture. In order to get all stakeholders working in the same direction, they have to have an understanding of and an emotional connection to the Vision. So it’s important for any leader to create an engaging Picture of Success or Vision that people can connect to not just with their heads but with their hearts.
A recent client, a leader in a technology company, was frustrated because his team wasn’t as focused as he was on the KPIs. Continue reading