Great Leaders are inspirational leaders. They find a way to inspire others and infuse a sense of meaning and purpose into the role that they are playing. To help them feel part of something greater than themselves.
We are living in volatile times. Ray Dalio, CEO of Bridgewater & Associates, one of the most successful investors of our time reminds us that everything repeats in cycles. His success comes from his deep study of patterns and cycles both macro and micro. He has reported in the media that we are in a similar place globally as we were in the late 1930s.
High debt, low-interest rates, trade wars, social unrest and the rise of popularism or strong nationalistic leaders that are strengthening and protecting their own are the patterns that are common between the 2 different eras. In these times the world needs Great Leaders, Evolutionary Leaders to inspire people with an uplifting Vision and a promise to support them to become all they can be.
Engagement is the biggest challenge that companies will be facing in these times. To the degree that your greatest asset or your people are inspired and engaged will be to the degree your business will experience success. This is true at any time but is more critical now than ever due to the retracting market around the world. Those companies that have Great Leaders who know how to motivate, retain, develop talent and inspire them will be the big winners.
The problem is that only 13% of employees are engaged worldwide and these numbers have not changed in the last 10 years as shown in yearly reports from Gallup. This means that Leadership is failing, failing at the most important thing they can do to future proof their business and get it through the coming storm.
Now is the time to be radically honest with yourself. What will you do to take your people skills as a leader to the next level? How will you prepare yourself and your business for the storm? What is your plan to increase engagement and productivity throughout your company?
In a recent study by the Harvard Business Review (HBR) that asked leaders “what inspires them about their colleagues?” a list of 33 traits were discovered and split into 4 key areas.
- Developing Inner Resources – stress tolerance, self-regard, optimism
- Connecting with Others – vitality, humility, empathy
- Setting the Tone – Openness, unselfishness, responsibility
- Leading the Team – Vision focus and servanthood
There was one trait that was found to matter more than any: CENTREDNESS
This is the same trait that enables athletes to perform to their full potential, to tap into that ZONE where execution happens easily and effortlessly and peak performance is achieved. This is true for leaders, also enabling them to stay calm, take the right action, listen deeply and empathise with others.
If leaders want their employees and managers to behave differently they have to be role models of the behaviours they are wanting to see performed. In other words, they have to behave differently. Centredness is the number one Leadership trait that will help them do so.
The world needs Evolutionary Leaders, leaders that are centred and inspirational right now. Be honest with yourself, how centred are you as a leader? What are you doing to learn how to be super present in every moment?